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Upgeniiarp ^tt. 











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[Those Saints who had not a Scriptaral or Apostolic Sanction, yet were in- 
vested by the popular and aniversal Faith with a paramount Authority.] 


St. Gsobob of Cappadocia. The Great Martyr. Hb Legend. Devotional 
Figures. St. Greorge and the Dragon. Historical Subjects from his Life - 398 

St. Sebastian. The Legend. Devotional Figures. As Patron Saint against 
the Plague. Italian, Spanish, and German Representations. The Legend 
of Marcus and Marcellinus. The Martyrdom of St. Sebastian. Various 
Examples. St. Sebastian recalled to Life. How represented - - 412 

St. Roch. The I^end. Unknown in Greek Art. Devotional Figures. 
Separate Pictures from his Life and History . • • . 425 

St. Cosmo and St. Damian. The Legend. Always represented together. Old 
Mosaics. As Patron Saints of the Medici Family. Miracles of St. Cosmo 
and St. Damian represented in Pictures ..... 433 

St. Chbistophbb. His Legend a Religious Parable. Virtues attributed to the 
Effigies of St. Christopher. Various Examples of the Religious Represen- 
tation. Examples which must be considered exceptional. The History of 
St. Christopher in a Series of Subjects ..... 439 

St. Nicholas of Mtba. The Saint of the People, and Protector of the Weak 
against the Strong. Universally worshipped in the East and in the West. 
The Legend. Translation of his Relics from Asia Minor to Italy. Devo- 
tional Figures of St. Nicholas. Attributes. Scenes from his Life. 
Miracles and Parables i*elating to St Nicholas as represented in Pictures - 450 


St. Cathebine of Alexandbia. The Legend. Hypatia of Alexandria. Devo- 
tional Figures of St. Catherine; as Patron Saint and Martyr. Various 



Examples from the earliest to the latest Schools. The Marriage of St. 
Catherine, a strictly Devotional Subject. How represented by Tarious 
Painters. Incidents in the Life of St. Catherine historically treated. St. 
Catherine buried by Angels ------ 467 

St. Babbaea. The Legend. Attributes of St Barbara as Patron Saint. As 
Patroness of Fire Arms. On Guns and Shields. On the Armour of Henry 
•VIII. in the Tower. Historical Pictures of St. Barbara - - - 492 

St. Ubsula. Antiquity of this wild Legend. Supposed Origin. Unknown in 
Greek Art. The Cologne Legend. Devotional Figures and Attributes as 
Patron Saint of Young Girls. Separate Subjects from her Life. Her 
whole History as painted by Carpaccio ; as painted by Hans Hemlinck - 501 

St. Mabqabet. Character and Legend. How represented. Her Attribute 
the Dragon. Examples of St. Margaret as Patron Saint. Historical 
Pictures of St. Margaret - - - - - - -516 


Reverence due to the Early Martyrs and to their Effigies. Opinion of Dr. 
Arnold. The Ten Persecutions. The beatified Martyrs early introduced 
into Church Decoration. Examples at Ravenna and at Rome - - 523 

The Innoc£nt8. How treated in Art ------ 529 

St. Stephen. Scriptural History. The Legend of the Discovery of his 
Relics. Devotional Figures ; as Proto-Martyr and Deacon. The Martyr- 
dom of St. Stephen. The Life of St. Stephen, in a Series of Subjects by 
Fra Angelico, by Carpaccio, by Juan Juanes - - - - 531 

St. Laubencb. His Legend. One of the most important and authentic in the 
main Circumstances. Devotional Figures of St. Laurence. The Gridiron. 
Subjects from his Life, by Angelico. Frescoes in the Basilica of San 
Lorenzo. The Legend of St. Laurence and Henry II. - - - 538 

St. Hippolttus. Tied to a Wild Horse - - - - . 547 

St. Vincent. Popularity and Antiquity of his Legend. How represented. 
Beautiful Devotional Figures, by Palma and Luini. Subjects from his 
Life - - 549 

St. Vitus --------- 554 


St. Thecla. The Greek Legend of Paul and Thecla. How represented in 

Western Art -------- 55^ 

COirrBNTS OP the SBOOND volume. Til 


St. £uph£Bua. Antiquity of the Legend, and of the Representation - - 560 

St. Pebpbtua. Not represented in Art - - . . . 554 

St. Phocas. The Legend. Peculiar to Greek Art - . - . 555 

St. Pantalson. Popular at Venice. The Legend. How represented by Paul 
Veronese and others ----... q^ 

St. Dorothea. The Greek Legend, its Beauty and Antiquity. How repre- 
sented. Martyrdom of St. Dorothea. Massinger's " Virgin Martyr " - 56S 

St. Ctpbiah and St. Justiwa. The Legend. Its Beauty and Significance. 
How represented. Donna Laura of Ferrara in the Chsuracter of St. 
Justina -------.. 573 

St. Apollokia. The Legend. Popular in Devotional Pictures. How repre- 
sented. Subjects from her Life ---... S7S 

The Setsh Slbepbbs of Ephesus. Frequent in Ecclesiastical Decoration. 
The Legend ------.. 5^1 

The Four Great Virgins of the Latin Church: 

St. Ceciua and her Husband, St. Valerian. The Legend. The Shrine and 
Statue in her Church at Rome. Oldest Representations. Figure by 
Cimabue. The Musical Attributes. Figures of St. Cecilia by Raphael. 
Lucas van Leyden. Moretto. Domenichino. Zurbaran, &c. Scenes and 
Incidents from her Life ------- 583 

St. Agnes. The ancient Roman Legend. Attributes and Effigies of St. Agnes. 
Martyrdom. Scenes from her Life - - , - - 600 

St. Agatha. The Sicilian Legend. Attributes and Effigies. As Patroness of 
MalU. Martyrdom. Healed by St. Peter - - . . qqH 

St. Lucia. The Sicilian Legend. Significance of the Name and Attributes. 
The Eyes. The Lamp. The Poniard. Scenes from her Story. The 
individual Character and Expression proper to the Four Great Virgins - 613 


The Oij) Churches of Rome - - - - - -621 

St. Praxedes and St. Pudentiana ------ 622 

The "Quattro Coronati" ------- 624 

St. Clement. Antiquity of his Church and Legend. Frescoes of Masaccio. 

Legend of his Shrine amid the Waves ----- 6^^ 


Legend of St. Bibiana - - - - - - - "628 

St. John and St. Paul, Brothers 629 

St. Nereus, St Achilleus, and St. Ceaareo - - - - 630 

St. Balbina and St. Sabina 630 

St. Prisca - - - - - - " - 631 

SS. Peter and Marcellinus ------ 632 

St. Aglae and St. Boniface - - - - - - 6*53 

St. Alexis - - - - - ' - - - 634 

St. Martina --.----- 638 

St. Anastasia and St. Chrysogonus - - - - - 639 

St. Pancras - - - - - - - - - 640 

St. Susanna; St. Chrysanthus and St. Daria - - . 641 

St. Eugenia - - - - - - - -642 

St. Felicitas and her Seven Sons .... - 642 

St Veronica ..--... 646 


Legend of St. Reparata - - 648 

St. Miniato of Florence - - - - - - 649 

St. Ansano of Siena ------- 650 

St. Fina of San Gemignano ------ 650 

St. Torp^ St. Ephesus, and St. Potitus of Pisa - - - 651 

St. Julian of Rimini ------- 653 

SS. Gervasius and Protasius of Milan, and their Father, St. Vitalis of 
Ravenna -------- 654 

SS. Naborre and Felice. SS. Nazaro and Celso of Milan - - 659 

SS. Lupo, Adelaide, Grata, and Alexander of Bergamo - - 660 

St. Julia - - - - - - - -661 

St. Panacea - - " . ' " ' ' " ^^^ 

SS. Faustino and Jovita of Brescia ----- 662 
St. Afra of Brescia, and St. Afra of Augsburg - - - 663 

St. Cheistina and St. Justina, famous in the North of luly. Legend of St. 
Christina of Bolsena. Attributes and Effigies. Celebrated in the Venetian 

Schools ^^^ 

St. Justina or Papua. Her Legend. Her magnificent Church. Pictures of 
her at Venice and Padua. Distinction between the St. Justina of Padua 
and the St. Justina of Antioch - - - - - - 669 

St. Filomena 671 

St. Omobuono --------- 674 

St. Justina and St. Rufina - - - - - " - 676 

St. Eui-^iA - - - ' " " " " '6^^ 

St. Lkocadia - - - " " " " * " ^^^ 

St. Crispin and St. Cbispianus - 679 




Their Importance in ancient Ecclesiastical Art. In tbe early Coinage of Italy. 
Costume. Hierarchs of Rome. Cardinals. Greek Bishops. Latin 
Bishops --------- 681 

Legend of Pope Sylvester and the Emperor Constantine. Its Importance 

in Art -------- 686 

St. Ignatius of Antioch ------ 693 

St. Blaise of Sebaste - - - - - - - 696 

St. Cyprian of Carthage -* - - - - - 699 

St. Erasmus of Formia --.--- 699 

St. ApoUinaris of Ravenna ------ 700 

St Donato of Arezzo ------ 701 

St. Zenobio of Florence - - - - - - 702 

St. Regulus and St. Frediano of Lucca . - - - 705 

St. Zeno of Verona - - - - - - -706 

St. Geminiano of Modena ------ 707 

St. Ercolano and St. Costanzo of Perugia - - - - 708 

St. Petronius - - - - - - - 709 

St. Maurelio -------- 710 

St. Romulo - - - - - - - - 710 

St. Mercuriale ------- 710 

St. Proculus -------- 710 

St. Casciano - - - - - - - -711 

St. Gaudenzio - - - - - - -711 

St. Siro - - - - - - - - 711 

St-Abbondio - - - - - - -711 

St. Hilary - - - - - - - - 711 

St. Januarius ------- 712 

St. Denis op Francs. The French Legend, which confounds him with Diony- 
sius the Areopagite. How represented in French aad Italian^Works of 
Art Subjects from his Life. Other headless Bishops. St. Romain. St 
Cheron. St. Clair. St. Nicaise. St. Valerie and St. Martial - - 713 

St. Mabtin of Toubs. Importance and Popularity of his History and Legend. 
St. Martin dividing his Cloak, called the '' Charity of St Martin.** Other 
Scenes firom his Life ------- 720 

St. Elot of Noton. A famous Groldsmith and Farrier, The Legend univer- 
sally popular. Pictures and Statues of St. Eloy - - - - 728 

St. Lambebt of Mabstbicht ------- 732 

St. Hubbbt op Liege. ** The Hunter.** Legend of the miraculous Stag. 

Subjects from his Life ------- 732 

Spanish Bishops. St. Leander, and St Isidore. Legend of Hermengildus - 737 
VOL. II. a 




Hermits of thb East. Antiquity and Interest of the Hermit Legends. 

St. Paul and St. Anthony. " The Temptation of St. Anthony.** - 739 

St. Ohofhio .-.----- 755 

St. Ephhem -------- 756 

St. Hilabion, as represented in the Campo Santo at Pisa, and elsewhere - 757 
St. Mabina -------- 758 

St. Macabius -------- 758 

Hebmits of the West : — 

St. Raniebi - - - - - - ^ - - 760 

St. Julian Hospitatob ------- 762 

St. Leonabd -------- 765 

St. Giles - - - - - - - - - 768 

St. Pbocopius - - - - - - - -771 

St. Genevieve of Paris ------- 772 

St. Isidobe, the Labourer ------- 778 

St. GuDULA of Brussels - - - - - - - 779 


Beauty and Importance of the Figures of the Military Martyrs. Legend of St. 
Mercurius and Julian the Apostate. Of St. Theodore, and other Greek 
Warriors, as grouped in ancient Art ----- 780 

St. Maubice, and the Theban Legion. The Legend. Its Importance as a 

Subject of Art through the North of Italy - - - - 784 

St. Gebyon -------- 785 

St. Secundus -------- 7^5 

St. Alexandeb, and others of the Companions of St. Maurice - - 786 

St. Longinus, the Centurion in the Crucifixion ----- 788 

Legends and Pictures of St. Victor - - - - - -791 

St. Eustace ------ 792 

St. Quirinus ------ 794 

St. Florian - - - - - - 795 

St. Hippolytus ----- 795 

St. Proculus ------ 796 

St. Quintin - - - - - 797 

St. Adrian and St. Natalia - - - - 797 




99. St. George and St. Michael. From a Picture in the Villa Albani. Peinigtuo, 

100. St. George. Cima da Conegliano, 

101. St. George. Or'San-Micheley Florence, Donatello. 

102. St. Greorge and the Dragon. BaphaeL 

103. St. Greorge and the Dragon. Carlo CriveUi, 

104. St. Sebastian. Albert DUrer and Perugino, \\ 

105. St. Sebastian. Old German, 

106. St; Roch. Carotto, Leuchtenberg Gallery. 

107. St. Ck>smo and St. Damian. Bicci di Lorenzo, Florence Gallery. 

108. St. Cosmo and St. Damian minister to the Sick. Pesellino, Louvre. 

109. Martyrdom of St. Cosmo and St. Damian. Florence Academy. 

110. St. Christopher. Albert DUrer, 

111. St. Christopher. Paolo Farinato, 

112. St. Christopher. Ancient Woodcut, • 

113. The Charity of St. Nicholas. Angelicoda Fiesole, Vatican. 

114. St. Nicholas. Botticelli, Capitol^ Rome, 

115. St. Nicholas. From an ancient Miniature, 

116. The Burial of St. Catherine. Luini, 

117. St. Catherine between two Wheels. Giotto. 

118. St. Catherine. Strasburg Cathedral, 
1 J 9. St. Catherine. Henry the Sevenths Chapel, 

120. St. Catherine. Albert DUrer, 

121. St. Catherine. Lucas van Leyden, 

122. Marriage of St. Catherine' Titian, 

123. Marriage of St. Catherine. Cola deW Amatrice, 

124. Angels bear St. Catherine to Mount Sinai. MUcke. 

125. Angels bury St. Catherine. Masaccio, 

a 2 


126. St. Barbara with the Sacramental Cup. Holbein, 

127. St. Barbara with the Feather. Michael Coxis. 

128. Head of St. Barbara. Van Eyck, 

129. St. Ursula. Santa Caterina di Vigri, Bologna Gallery, 

130. St. Ursula. Zurharan, 

131. St. Ursula. Hemling, 

132. St. Margaret. Gothic Sculpture, 

133. St. Margaret. Lucas van Leyden, 
134.* St. Margaret. Ititarsia. 

135. Supplicating Angel. Gaudenzio Ferrari, 

136. St. Stephen, as Deacon. Vittore Carpaccio, 

137. St. Laurence, as Deacon. Vivarini, 

138. St. Laurence. Pinturicchio, 

139. St. Laurence distributing Alms. Angelica da Fiesole, 

140. Angel. Blake, 

141. St. Thecla. Lorenzo Costa, 

142. St. Euphemia. Andrea Mantegna. 

143. St. Dorothea. German. 

144. St. Dorothea. Siena School. 

145. St. Justina and Alphonso I. of Ferrara. Moretto. Vienna Gallery. 

146. St. Cecilia. Statue at Rome. Stefano Mademo. 

147. Shrine of St. Cecilia. 

148. St. Cecilia enthroned. Cimabue. 

149. St. Cecilia. Raphael. 

150. St. Cecilia. Lucas van Leyden, 

151. St. Cecilia. Zurharan. 

152. St. Agnes. Martin Schoen. 

153. St. Agnes. Andrea del Sarto. 
154,* St. Agatha. Intarsia. 

155. St. Lucia with her Lamp. Carotto. 

156. St. Lucia with her eyes. Carlo Crivelli. 

157. St. Lucia. Garo/alo. 

158. St. Lucia with the Poniard. Angelica da Fiesole. 

159. Angel playing the Organ. Hemmelinck. 

160. St. Veronica. Andrea Sacchi. 

161. St. Julian. Lorenzo di Credi, 

162. St. Christina. Johan SchoreeL 

163. St. Justa and St. Rufina. 

164. Cherubim. Perugino. 

165. St. Constantine. Antique Statue. 

* For these two beautiful figures, specimens of intarsia (i. e. inlaid wood) from the choir of 
the chmch of St. John, Malta, I am indebted to Mrs. Austin. 


166. The Martyrdom of St. Ignatius. From a Cfreek Miniature, 

167. St. Zenobio raises a dead Child. Masaccio. 

168. St. Zeno. Marando di Verona, 

169. St. Petromios. Lorenzo Costa, 

170. St Martin. Martin Schoen, 

171. St. Martin dividing his Cloak. French Miniature, 

172. St. Eloy. From the Statue in Or-San-Michele, Florence, 

173. St. Hubert as Bishop of Liege. Wilhelm of Cologne, 

174. The Conversion of St. Hubert. French Miniature, 

175. St. Anthony. Carotto, 

176. Paul and Anthony break Bread. Brusasorci, 

177. St. Leonard. Old Fresco, 

178. St. Giles. Lucas van Leyden. 

179. St. Procopius. A Caracci, 

180. St. Grenevi^ve. Gothic Sculpture. 

181. St. Genevieve, as Shepherdess. Guerin, 

182. Angels. 

183. St. Maurice. Hemshirh. 

184. St. Longinus. Andrea Mantegna. 

185. St. Eustace. Domenichino. 

186. St. Proculus. Francia. 

187. Angel, from the so-called " Martyrdom of Santa Felicitk." Baphael 



I. The Five Virgina. St. Cecilia in the centre ; on the right St, Barbara 
and St. Agnes ; on the left St. Lucia and St. Agatha. From a Picture 
by Moretto in the Church of Son ClemerUe at Brescia - - Title 

II. 1. St. Sebastian as Patron Saint. From a Picture in the Brera at Milan. 

2. The Martyrdom of St. Sebastian. After Mantegna (?) - - 412 

III. 1. The Martyrdom of St. Barbara. From a Picture by Pietro Rosa, in the 

Church of S, Maria delle Grazie at Brescia. 2. The Martyrdom of St. 
Catherine. After B. Luini ------ 467 

IV. St Barbara enthroned. After a Picture by Matteo di Siena, in the Church 

of San Domenico at Siena, dated 1 479. Beneath, St. Barbara building 
her Tower. From a Picture in the Vatican - - - - 494 

y. 1. St. Agatha and the Executioner. 2. The two Deacons, St. Laurence 
and St. Vincent. After Parmigiano, in the Church of San Giovanni at 
Parma ---.---- 523 

VI. St. Felicitas and her Seven Sons, Martyrs. From the Picture by Neri de^ 

Bicciy in the Church of Santa Felicitd at Florence - - . 642 

VII. St. Anthony lifted into the Air and tormented by Demons. After Martin 

Schoen ----.-.. 74I 

VIII. The Hermits of the Desert. After Piero LauratL The old Fresco is in 

the Campo Santo at Pisa -----_ 757 

IX. 1. The Hospitality of St. Julian, who receives the leprous youth. 2. St. 

Leonard holding the Fetters ------ 762 

X. Early Italian Coins, bearing the Effigies of Saints: — i. Copper coin of 
Sergius II., duke of Naples, from a. d. 866 to 876 ; on the reverse, St. 
Januarius, who first appears on the coins of Naples about a century 
previous to this date. ii. Grossetto of Bartolomeo and Antonio della 
Scala, lords of Verona from 1375 to 1381 ; on the obverse St. Zeno. 
iii. A silver Florin, struck at Florence in 1182; on the obverse, a 
fine bust of St. John the Baptist, iv. v. Grosso, struck at Milan 
about 1312, bearing St. Ambrose enthroned as patron; on the reverse, 
St. Gervasius and St. Protasius. vi. Grosso, struck at Pavia about 
1250; on the obverse, St. Syrus, brother of St. Ambrose, and patron 
of Pavia. This is the earliest coin of Pavia on which St. Syrus 


appears, vii. Gtobbo, struck at Bologna in llie beginning of the 
fifteenth centuiy ; on the obverse, St. I'etroniua throned as patron, 
and carrying the city. viii. Zecchino d'om of Michael Stcno, doge 
of Venice from 1400 to 1413; the doge kneeling before St. Mark, 
who delivers to him the standard of the republic (Vol. 1. p. 148.). jx. x. 
Soldo struck at Rome about 1250. Obveree, St. Peter; reverse, St. 
Paul : the traditional type in both heads haa been strictly adhered to. 
xi. GnMsetlo of Sixtus lY., 1484, struck at Yllerbo, bearing St. Lau- 
rence tu patron, xii. Groasetto of Ragufa, struck in the beginning of 
the fifteenth century, bearing St. Blaise as patron, xiii. Paolo of 
Leo X , who presents the model of St. Peter's to the Apostle enthroned 
as patron, xiv. Grosso of Florence, bearing St. John the Baptist, xv. 
Grossetto of Innocent TTII., 1484; struck at Ancona, bearing St. Peter 
hauling his net. xvj. Testoon of Pier Luigi Fiesco, lord of Lavagna in 
Piedmont, bearing as patron San Tenonesto (8. Theonea), one of the 
Theban Legion companions of St. Maurice, xvii. Testoon of Ales- 
sandro de' Medici, bearing SS. Cosmo and Damian as patrons, xviti. 
Testoon of Florence, IS75, bearing St. John the Baptist, xix. Paolo of 
of Quid' Ubaldi, duke of Urbino, 1538—1574, bearing the Apostles 
James and John. {TTieie Coiiu ore front the Collection of Jatite* 
Lockt/er, En/., to whom, and to Mr. Oeorge Scharf I am indebted for the 
iUattrative elchij^.) - - - - ■ - -6 

Zi)t patron S^&ints of CKjrtdttntrom* 

Before entering on the general sobject of the early martTTS, I aliall 
place together here the great Patron Saints of Eastern and Western 
Christendom. All sunts are, io one sense, patron saintS) either as 
protectors of some particular nation, province, or city ; or of some par- 
ticular avocation, trade, or condition of life : but there is a wide distinc- 
tion to be drawn between the merely national and local saints, and those 
nniversally accepted and revered. St. Denis, for instance, is not 
much honoured out of France ; nor St. Januarius, the Lazzarone saint, 
out of Naples ; but St George, the patron of England, was at once the 
GBEAT SAINT of the Greek Church, and the patron of the chivalry of 
Europe; and triumphed wherever triumphed the cross, from the Eu- 
phrates to the Pillars of Hercules. 


Those patron saints who had not, like St Peter of Rome, St. Mark 
of Venice, St James of Spain, St Mary Magdalene, a scriptural and 
apostolic sanction, yet were invested by the popular and universal faith 
with a paramount dignity and authority, form a class apart They are 
— St George, St. Sebastian, St Christopher, St Cosmo and St. 
Damian, St Roch, and St. Nicholas. The virgin patronesses, to whom 
was rendered a like universal worship, are St Catherine, St Barbara^ 
St Margaret, and St Ursula. 

I place them here together, because I have observed that, in studying 
the legendary subjects of Art, they must be kept constantly in mind. 
In every sacred edifice of Europe which still retains its mediaeval and 
primal character, whatever might be its destination, whether church, 
chapel, convent, scuola^ or hospital, — in every work of art in which 
sacred personages are grouped together, without any direct reference to 
the scenes or events of Scripture, one or other of these renowned 
patrons is sure to be found ; and it becomes of the utmost importance 
that their characters, persons, and attributes should be well discrimi- 
nated. Those who were martyrs do not figure principally in that 
character. They each represent some phase of the beneficent power, 
or some particular aspect of the character, of Christ, that divine and 
universal model to which we all aspire ; but so little is really known of 
these glorified beings, their persons, their attributes, — the actions 
recorded of them are so mixed up with fable, and in some instances 
so completely fantastic and ideal, — that they may be fairly regarded as 
having succeeded to the honours and attributes of the tutelary divinities 
of the pagan mythology. It is really a most interesting speculation to 
observe how completely the prevalent state of society in the middle 
ages modified the popular notions of these impersonations of divine 
power. Every one knows by heart those exquisite lines in which 
Wordsworth has traced the rise and influence of the beautiful myths of 
ancient Greece : — 

** In that fair clime the lonely herdsman, stretch'd 
On the soft grass through half a summer^s day, 
With music luU'd his indolent repose : 
And, in some fit of weariness, if he. 
When his own hreath was silent, chanced to hear 
A distant strain, far sweeter than the sounds 



Which his poor skill could make, his Fancy fetch'd 
Even from the blazing chariot of the sun, 
A beardless youth, who touched a golden lute. 
And fillM the illumined groves with ravishment 
The nightly hunter, lifting up his eyes 
Towards the crescent moon, with grateful heart 
Caird on the lovely wanderer, who bestow*d 
That timely light, to share his joyous sport : 
And hence a blooming goddess and her nymphs." 

Thus the mythology of the ancient Greeks was the deification of the 
aspects and harmonies of nature, while the mythology of Christianity 
was shaped by the aspirations of humanity ; — it was the apotheosis of 
the moral sentiments, coloured by the passions and the suffering of the 
time. So in an age of barbarity and violence did St. George, the 
redresser of wrongs with spear and shield, become the model of knight- 
hood. So when disease and pestilence ravaged whole provinces, the 
power to avert the plague was invoked in St Sebastian ; and the power 
to heal, ever a godlike attribute, reverenced in St. Cosmo and St. 
Damian. So at a time when human life was held cheap, and beset by 
casualties, when the intercourse between men and nations was inter- 
rupted by wide forests, by unaccustomed roads, by floods and swamps, 
and all perils of sea and land, did St Christopher represent to the pious 
the immediate presence of divine aid in difficulty and danger. So also 
were the virgin patronesses to all intents and purposes goddesses in fact, 
though saints in name. The noble sufferance, the unblemished chastity, 
the enthusiastic faith of a St Catherine or a St Ursula, did not lose by 
a mingling of the antique grace, where a due reverence inspired the 
conception of the artist : — Venus and Diana, and Pallas and Lucina, it 
should seem, could only gain by being invested with the loftier, purer 
attributes of Christianity. Still there was a diversity in the spirit 
which rendered the blending of these characters, however accepted in 
the abstract, not always happy in the representation; — a consideration 
which will meet us under many aspects as we proceed. 

There are fourteen saints, who, in Germany, are especially distin-^ 
guished as Noth-helfer (Helpers-in-need) ; but as this distinction^ 
does not pervade German art especially, and is not received in the rest 
of Europe, I have thought it unnecessary to do more than mention it 

B % 


I will now take these poetical and semideified personages in order ; 
giving the precedence^ as is most fit^ to our own illustrious patron, the 
Champion of England and hero of the " Fairie Queen,** St George. 

St. George of Cappadocia. 

LaU SanctQS Georgius. Ital, San Giorgio. Fr, Saint Greorges, le tr^s-loyal Chevalier de la 
Chr^tiennete. Ger, Der Heilige Georgius, or, more popularly, Jorg or Georg. Patron of 
England, of Germany, of Venice. Patron saint of soldiers and of armourers. April 23. 
AJ>. 303. 

The legend of St. George came to us from the East ; where, under 
various forms, as Apollo and the Python, as Bellerophon and the 
Chimera, as Perseus and the Sea-monster, we see perpetually recurring 
the mythic allegory by which was figured the conquest achieved by 
beneficent power over the tyranny of wickedness, and which reappears 
in Christian Art in the legends of St. Michael and half a hundred other 
saints. At an early period we find this time-consecrated myth trans- 
planted into Christendom, and assuming, by degrees, a peculiar colour- 
ing in conformity with the spirit of a martial and religious age, until 
the classical demi-god appears before us, transformed into that doughty 
slayer of the dragon and redresser of woman's wrongs, St George — 

^ Tclad in mighty arms and silver shield. 
As one for knightly jousts and fierce encounters fit." 

Spenser, however, makes his " patron of true holinesse " rather unwill- 
ing to renounce his knighthood for his sainthood: — 

** But deeds of arms must I at last be fain 
To leave, and lady's love so dearly bought ? " 

The legend of St. George, as it was accepted by the people and 
artists of the middle ages, runs thus : — He waa a native of Cappadocia, 
living in the time of the Emperor Diocletian, born of noble Christian 
parents, and a tribune in the army. It is related that in travelling to 
join his legion he came to a certain city in Libya called Selene.* The 

* By some authors the scene is laid at Berytus (Bayreuth) in Syria. 


inhabitants of this city were in great trouble and consternation in con- 
sequence of the ravages of a monstrous dragon, which issued from a 
neighbouring lake or marshy and devoured the flocks and herds of the 
people, who had taken refuge within the walls : and to prevent him 
from approaching the city, the air of which was poisoned by his pestife- 
rous breath, they offered him daily two sheep ; and when the sheep 
were exhausted, they were forced to sacrifice to him two of their chil- 
dren daily, to save the rest. The children were taken by lot (all under 
the age of fifteen) ; and the whole city was filled with mourning, with 
the lamentations of bereaved parents and the cries of the innocent 

Now the king of this city had one daughter, exceedingly fair, and 
her name was Cleodolioda. And after some time, when many people 
had perished, the lot fell upon her, and the monarch, in his despair, 
offered all his gold and treasures, and even the half of his kingdom, to 
redeem her ; but the people murmured, saying, " Is this just, O King I 
that thou, by thine own edict, hast made us desolate, and, behold, now 
thou wouldst withhold thine own child?" — and they waxed more and 
more wroth, and they threatened to bum him in his palace unless the 
princess was delivered up. Then the king submitted, and asked only a 
delay of eight days to bewail her fate, which was granted ; and at the 
end of eight days, the princess, being clothed in her royal robes, was 
led forth as a victim for sacrifice, and she fell at her father's feet and 
asked his blessing, saying that she was ready to die for her people : and 
then, amid tears and lamentations, she was put forth, and the gates 
shut against her. Slowly she walked towards the dwelling of the 
dragon, the path being drearily strewn with the bones of former victims, 
and she wept as she went on her way. Now, at this time, St. George 
was passing by, mounted on his good steed ; and, being moved to see 
so beautiful a virgin in tears, he paused to ask her why she wept, and 
she told hiuL And he said, " Fear not, for I will deliver you !" and 
she replied, ** O noble youth ! tarry not here, lest thou perish with me ! 
but fly, I beseech thee ! " But St George would not ; and he said, 
" God forbid that I should fly ! I will lift my hand against this loathly 
thing, and will deliver thee through" the power of Jesus Christ!" At 
that moment the monster was seen emerging from his liur, and half- 


crawling, half-flying towards them. Then the virgin princess trembled 
exceedingly, and cried out, " Fly, I beseech thee, brave knight, and 
leave me here to die I'* But he answered not; only making the sign 
of the cross and calling on the name of the Redeemer, he spurred 
towards the dragon, and, after a terrible and prolonged combat, he 
pinned him to the earth with his lance. Then he desired the princess 
to bring her girdle ; and he bound the dragon fast, and gave the girdle 
to her hand, and the subdued monster crawled after them like a dog. 
In this guise they approached the city. The people being greatly 
terrified, St. George called out to them, saying, — " Fear nothing ; 
only believe in the God through whose might I have conquered 
this adversary, and be baptized, and I will destroy him before your 
eyes." So the king and his people believed, and were baptized, — 
twenty thousand people in one day. Then St George slew the dragon, 
and cut off his head ; and the king bestowed great rewards and trea- 
sures on the victorious knight ; but he distributed all to the poor, and 
kept nothing, and went on his way, and came to Palestine. At that 
time the edict of the Emperor Diocletian against the Christians was 
published, and it was affixed to the gates of the temples, and in the 
public markets ; and men read it with terror, and hid their faces ; but 
St. George, when he saw it, was filled with indignation, the spirit of 
courage from on high came upon him, and he tore it down, and trampled 
it under his feet* Whereupon he was seized, and carried before Dacian 
the proconsul, and condemned to suffer during eight days the most cruel 
tortures. First they bound him on a wooden cross and tore his body 
with sharp iron nails, and then they scorched and burned him with 
torches, and rubbed salt into his smarting wounds. And when Dacian 
saw that St. George was not to be vanquished by torments, he called to 
his aid a certain enchanter, who, after invoking his demons, mingled 
strong poison with a cup of wine and presented it to the saint. He, 
having made the sign of the cross and recommended himself to God, 
drank it off without injury: — (an expressive allegory, signifying the 
power of Christian truth to expel and defeat evil). When the magician 
saw this miracle, he fell at the feet of the saint, and declared himself a 
Christian. Immediately the wicked judge caused the enchanter to be 
beheaded j and St. George was bound upon a wheel full of sharp blades ; 


but the wheel was broken by two angels who descended from heaven. 
Thereupon they flung him into a cauldron of boiling lead : and when 
they believed that they had subdued him by the force of torments, they 
brought him to the temple to assist at the sacrifice, and the people ran 
in crowds to behold his humiliation, and the priests mocked him. But 
St. George knelt down and prayed, and thunder and lightning from 
heaven fell upon the temple, and destroyed it and the idols ; and the 
priests and many people were crushed beneath the ruins, as at the 
prayer of the son of Manoah in ancient times. Then Dacian, seized 
with rage and terror, commanded that the Christian knight should be 
beheaded. He bent his neck to the sword of the executioner, and 
received bravely and thankfully the stroke of death. 

St George is particularly honoured by the Greeks, who place him 
as captain at the head of the noble army of martyrs, with the title of 
THE GREAT MARTTB. The reverence paid to him in the East is of 
such antiquity, that one of the first churches erected by Constantino, 
after his profession of Christianity (consequently within twenty years 
after the supposed death of the saint), was in honour of St. George. In 
the West, however, his apocryphal legend was not accepted, and was, 
in fact, repudiated from the offices of the Church by Pope Gelasius in 
494, when he reformed the calendar. It was then decided that St. 
George should be placed in the category of those saints " whose names 
are justly reverenced among men, but whose actions are known only to 
God." After this period we do not hear much of him till the first cru- 
sade, when the assistance he is said to have vouchsafed to Godfrey of 
Boulogne made his name as a military saint famous throughout Europe. 
The particular veneration paid to him in England dates from the time 
of Kichard I., who, in the wars of Palestine, placed himself and his 
army under the especial protection of St. George. In 1222 his feast 
was ordered to be kept as a holiday throughout England ; and the in- 
stitution of the Order of the Garter, in 1330, seems to have completed 
his inauguration as our patron saint' 

' There is ample proof that St. George was popular in this couDtiy even in the Anglo- 
Saxon times ; bat, previous to the Normans, Edward the Confessor was patron saint of 
England. There are 162 churches in England dedicated in honour of St. George. (See 
Parker's Calendar of the Anglican Church, p. 65.) 


The devotional representations of St George, which are of very fre- 
quent occurrence, may be divided into two clasaes. 1. Those in which 
he is standing as patron saint, alone, or grouped with other saints in the 
Madonna pictures. 2. Those in which he vanquishes the dragon. 

1. In the dngle figures St. George 
is usually represented young, or in 
the prime of life. In the Greek and 
Italian pictures he is generally beard- 
less, but bearded in the German pic- 
tures. Hia air and expression should 
be serenely triumphant : he ought to 
wear a complete suit of armour, being 
the same specified by St. Paul (Ephee. 
vi.), — " The breastplate of righteous- 
ness, the shield of fmth, the helmet 
of salvation, and the sword of the 
Spirit, which is the word of God," 
Sometimes he wears the classical ar- 
mour of a Koman soldier, sometimes 
he is armed as a knight of romance. 
In one hand he hears the palm, in the 
other a lance ; from which, occasion- 
ally, floats a banner with a red cross. 
The lance is often broken, because in 
hb legend it is said, that, " his lance 
being broken, he slew the dragon with 
hia sword." The slain dragon lies at 
hia feet. This is the usual manner of 
representation, but it is occasionally 
varied ; for instance, when be stands 
before us as the patron saint of Eng- 
land and of the Order of the Garter, 
he has the garter buckled round his 
knee, and the star of the order em- 
broidered on hia mantle. When he igg st. c«ir» {Vcitetiui.) 


figures as patron saint of Venice, he standd leaning on Iiis sword, the 
lance and banner in his hand, and the dn^on usually omitted. 

Such representations in the early Italian pictures are often of exqui- 
site beauty, combining the attitude and bearing of the victorious warrior 
with the mild, devout expression of the martyr saint. For example, in 
a picture by Cima da Conegliano ', he stands to the right of the throne 
of the Madonna, one hand grasping the lance, the other resting on the 
pommel of his Bword, and in his youthful features an expression divinely 
candid and serene : there is no dragon. Again, in the famous Madonna 
del Trono by Fra Bartolomeo *, St George stands by the throne in a 
full suit of steel plate armour, with an air which Vaeari has truly de- 
scribed as "fieruy prmta, virace;" and yet, on his clear open brow, an 
expression becoming the Christian s^nt : he 
bears the standard furled. 

I believe the beautiful little Venetian pic- 
ture once in the collection of Mr. Bogers 
(and then called Gaston de Foix) to be a 
study for a St George, either by Giorgione 
or Bonifacio ; and those to whom the Vene- 
tian altar-pieces are familiar can have no doubt 
as to the subject intended.* 

In a picture by Tintoretto S St George, 
as patron of Venice, is seated on the steps of 
the throne of the Madonna, like a celestial 
guard; while the Venetian sigooria are ap- 
proaching to worship. 

St Geoi^e, standing in armour, points up- 
wards with one hand, and in the other holds 
an inscription, " Quid bono retribua Dno" In 
a picture by Glolfino, in the S. Anastasia, 

Among the most celebrated single figures 
of St George must be mentioned the fine im st.c»rge. (Doniteiio.) 

' Acad. Venice. • Fl. Gal. 

* It ii now in our National GeUetj, and onght to go b; iM right name. 
' Venice, SS. Gio. e Paolo. 


»tatue by Donatello on the exterior of the Or San Michele at Flo- 
rence : he is in complete armour, without sword or lance^ bareheaded, 
and leaning on his shield^ which displays the cross. The noble^ tran- 
quil, serious dignity of this figure admirably expresses the Christian 
warrior : it is so exactly the conception of Spenser, that it immediately 
suggests his lines — 

** Upon his shield the bloodio cross was scored, 
For sovereign help, which in his need he had. 
Right faithful, troe he was, in deed and word ; 
But of his cheere did seem too solemn sad ; 
Yet nothing did he dread, but ever was ydrad." 

As ' a signal example of a wholly different feeling and treatment, may 
be mentioned the St. George in Correggio's ** Madonna di San Giorgio * : " 
here his habit is that of a Roman soldier ; his attitude bold and martial ; 
and, turning to the spectator wiih a look of radiant triumph, he sets his 
foot on the head of the vanquished dragon. 

2. In the subject called familiarly St George and the Dragon^ we 
must be careful to distinguish between the emblem and the actioru 
Where we have merely the figure of St. George in the act of vanquish- 
ing the dragon,— as in the insignia of the Order of the Garter, on coins, 
in the carvings of old Gothic churches, in ancient stained glass, &c — 
the representation is strictly devotional and allegorical, signifying the 
victory of faith or holiness over all the powers of evil. But where St. 
George is seen as combatant,* and the issue of the combat yet unde- 
cided ; where accessaries are introduced, as the walls of the city in the 
background, crowded with anxious spectators ; or where the princess, 
praying with folded hands for her deliverer, is a conspicuous and im- 
portant personage, — then the representation becomes dramatic and 
historical ; it is clearly a scene, an incident. In the former instance, 
the treatment should be simple, ideal, sculptural; in the latter, pic- 
turesque, dramatic, fanciful. 

There are two little pictures by Raphael which may be cited as 
signal examples of the two styles of treatment. The first, which is in 

' Dresden Gal. 


101 ai. Georfi. {lUphHl. Louire.) 

the Louvre, a serenely elegant and purely allegorical conception, repre- 
Bente St. George as the Chriatiau warrior, combating with spiritual 
arms, and assured of conquest ; for thus he site upon hie milk-white 
steed, and with such a tranquil and even careless scorn prepares to 
strike off the head of the writhing monster beneath. (102) Very dif- 
ferent, as a conception, is the second picture, in which St. Greorge 
figures as the champion of England ; here he is rushing on the dmgon 
as one who must conquer or die, and transfixes the monster with his 
lance : the rescued princess is seen in the background. This pictm-e 


was painted as a present from the Duke of Urbino to Henry VII. ; and 
St. George has the garter and motto round his knee. It is now at 
St. Petersburg. 

When the princess is introduced in the devotional representations, 
she is clearly an allegorical personage, representing truth or innocence 
— the Una of Spenser. I can recollect but one instance in which she 
has the lamb ; in this example, however, the treatment is anything but 
devotional. It is an exquisite little print, by Lucas van Leyden, which 
appears to represent the meeting of St. George and the princess before 
the conquest of the dragon : she has been weeping, and is drying her 
eyes with the back of her hand, while St. George comforts her, as we 
may see, with gallant assurances of deliverance ; his squire in the back- 
ground holds his horse. Some other examples of this early treatment 
by the German painters are very curious : whether historical or alle- 
gorical, they conceived it wholly in a romantic and chivalrous spirit. 
We have the casque and floating plume, the twisted mail, the spurs, 
the long hair, the banner, the attendant squire. Albert Diirer has 
given us four prints of St. George : in one of them he is standing with 
the red-cross banner, and has his hair confined in a kind of net cap, 
such as the knights of the fifteenth century wore under the helmet; hb 
plumed casque and the vanquished dragon lie at his feet ; he has rather 
a long beard, and all the air of a veteran knight Sometimes St. George 
is seen on horseback, bareheaded, with his helmet at his saddle-bow, 
while the rescued princess walks beside him, leading the wounded 
dragon bound in her girdle. In Tintoretto's picture in our National 
Gallery, the conquest of the dragon is treated quite in the dramatic 
and historical style : here the combat takes place in the background ; 
and the princess, who is in front, seems to wish, yet dread, to look 

In the spirited sketch by Tintoretto, at Hampton Court, St George 
has bound the monster, and the princess Cleodolinda holds one end of 
the girdle. The same incident, but more dramatic and picturesque in 
treatment, we find in the Queen's Gallery, painted by Kubens for our 
Charles I. In this picture the saintly legend is exhibited as a scene in 
a melodrama, and made the vehicle for significant and not inappropriate 
flattery. The action passes in a rich landscape, representing in the 


background a distant view of the Thames^ and Windsor Castle as it 
then stood. Near the centre is St George^ with his right foot on the 
neck of the vanquished dragon^ presenting to the daughter of the King 
of Selene — the fair Princess Cleodolinda — the end of the girdle which 
she had given him to bind the monster : the saint and the princess are 
portraits of Charles I. and Henrietta- Maria. Nearer to the spectator^ 
on the left, is a group of four females, bewailing the ravages of the 
beast, exhibited in the dead bodies lying near them, and from the sight 
of which two infants recoil with horror. Behind, the squire of the 
saintly knight is seen mounted and armed cap-4-pie, and bearing his 
banner with the red cross ; a page holds his horse : beyond them is 
seen a group of persons on a high bank, and others mounted on trees, 
who survey the scene ; and on the other side, three females, who are 
embracing each other, and, as the French catalogue has it, ^* temoignent 
par leur attitude une frayeur mSl^e de joie.** Two angels from above 
descend with the palm and the laurel to crown the conqueror. The 
picture, like the St George of Raphael, already mentioned, has to an 
Englishman a sort of national interest, being painted for one of our 
kings, in honour of our tutelar saint After the death of Charles I. it 
was sold out of England, passed into the Orleans Gallery, was brought 
back to England in 1798, and subsequently purchased by George IV. 

There is a beautiful modem bas-relief by Sch wan thaler, in which 
St George, with his foot on the dragon, is presenting the end of the 
girdle to the rescued princess. 

It appears to me an unpardonable mistake in point of sentiment when 
the princess is fleeing in terror, as in one of L. Caracci's finest pictures, 
where she appears in the foreground, and immediately commands atten- 
tion.* Richardson praises the figure, and with justice : he says, " the 
lady, that flies in a fright, has the most noble and gentile attitude 
imaginable. She is dressed all in white, she runs away, her back is 
towards you, but her head, turning over her shoulder, shows a profile 
exquisitely beautiful, and with a fine expression." Fine expression of 
what ? — of fear ? It shocks our better judgment The noble princess 
of the legend, who was ready to die for her people, and who entreated 

> In the cloisters of the San Michele-in-Bosco, at Bologna, now nearly defaced ; bat the 
frescoes, once celebrated, are well known through engravings. 



St George to leave her rather than expose his life, was not likely to 
fly when he was combating for her sake ; she puts up prayers for her 
deliverer, and abides the issue* So Spenser's Una, the Cleodolinda of 
the legend : — 

^ With folded hands, and knees fall lowlj bent, 

All night did watch, nc once adowne would lajr 

Her dainty limbs in her sad dreaiyment, 
Bat praying, still did wake, and waking did lament." 

And thus the ancient painters, with a true and elevated feeling, uni- 
formly represent her. 

Bichardson, in his praise of this picture by Ludovico, which he calls a 
** miraculous picture," seems to have forgotten the principle he has him- 
self laid down, with excellent taste, though the expression be somewhat 
homely. ** If the workmanship be never so exquisite, if the pencil or 
chisel be in the utmost degree fine ; and the idea of the persons or 
things represented is low, or disagreeable ; the work may be excellent, 
but the picture or sculpture is in the main contemptible, or of little 
worth. Whereas, on the other hand, let the ideas we receive be great 
and noble, 'tis comparatively of no importance whether the work is 
rough or delicate." 

The devotional figures of the armed St George, with his foot on the 
dragon, resemble in sentiment and significance the figures of St. Michael: 
where they are represented together, the wings or the balance distin- 
guish the- archangel ; the palm, the martyr. There are other military 
saints who have also the dragon, from whom it is less easy to distinguish 
St. George. St. Theodore of Heraclea and St. Longinus have both 
this attribute. The reader will find in the legends of these saints the 
points which distinguish them. 

It must be observed, that the dragon in the myth of St. George 
never has the human or satanic lineaments, as in the legend of St. 
Michael ; nor do I know of any instance in which the usual dragon- 
type, such as we see it in all the effigies of the conquering St George, 
has been departed from : the gigantic crocodile head ; the brazen scales, 
that, when he moved, were as " the clashing of an armour bright ; " the 
enormous wings, ** like unto sails in which the hollow wind is gathered 
full ;" the volmninous tail, terminating in a sting; and the iron teeth 


and claws ; compose the " dreadful beast," — which is a beast, and nothing 

Pictures from the life of St. George as a series occur very seldonu 
I believe that the reason may be found in the rejection of his legend 
from the oflSce of the Church of Kome as early as the sixth century, 
he being placed by Pope Gelasius in the number of those saints 
** whose names and whose virtues were rightly adored by men, but 
whose actions were known only to God.** This has not prevented his 
legend from being one of the most popular in those European story- 
books where he figures as one of the Seven Champions of Christen- 

There is a series of early frescoes in the chapel of San Giorgio at 
Padua, painted, as it is supposed, by the school of Giotto, principally 
by Jacopo Avanzi and Altichieri. They are arranged in the following 
order: — 

1. The combat with the dragon ; the city is seen in the background, 
with the walls crowded with spectators. 

2. The baptism of the king, the queen, the princess, and all the 
court. The scene is the interor of the church, which, according to the 
l^end, was built by the command of St. George, after the conquest of 
the dragon : the king is kneeling at the font, holding his crown in his 
hand; St. George is pouring water upon his head from a vase: the 
saint is not here in armour, but wears a white tunic, with the pointed 
shoes and spurs of a cavalier of the fourteenth century. The queen 
and princess kneel behind the king. 

The four frescoes in the lower range represent the martyrdom of the 
saint. 1. St. George, habited in a long loose mantle, drinks off the 
poison presented by the Magician, who looks on with surprise. 2. St» 
George stretched on the wheel, which is destroyed by angels. 3. The 
fall of the temple of Apollo at the prayer of St. George, who is kneel- 
ing in front. 4. St. George is beheaded outside the city : the execu- 
tioner stands beside him with his sword raised ; the saint kneels with 
his hands joined, and with a mild, resigned expression. In all these 
compositions Su George is represented bearded, as a man in the prime 
of life, and not as a youth. 


lOS St G»rg(. (Carlo GrlHl II.) 

The history of St. George as patron of Venice, as victor, not as 
martyr, has been painted by Vittore Carpaccio in three beautiful pic- 
tures. — 1. The combat with the dragon. 2. He is received by the 
king and people in triumph. 3. The conversion and baptism of the 
king and his court : the most conspicuous figure U that of the princess, 
who, with her long golden h^ flowing over her shoulders, her hands 
joined, and with a most lovely expression, kneels to receive baptism 
from her pious and chivalroua deliverer.' 

■ Venice. Church oTS. Giorgio de' Schiaroni. 


Of the martyrdom of St George, as a separate subject, there are 
several fine examples, but I do not know any of very early date. The 
leading idea is in all the same : he kneels, and an executioner prepares 
to strike off his head with a sword. In the church of San Gioi^io, at 
Verona, I saw over the high altar this subject by Paul Veronese, 
treated in his usual gorgeous style : St. George, stripped to the waist, 
kneels to receive the blow ; a monk stands at his side (we are left to 
wonder how he got there) ; the Virgin in glory, with St. Peter and St. 
Paul, and a host of angels, appear in the opening heavens above. ^ The 
composition by Rubens, painted for the chapel of St. George de LiSre 
near Antwerp, is very fine and full of character. In the composition 
of Vandyck, he is represented as sacrificed to an idoL The drawing 
is, I think, in the collection of Sir Kobert Peel. 

St. Greorge and the dragon, and his martyrdom, are the usual subjects 
in the many churches dedicated to this saint. 

His church at Rome, at the foot of the Palatine, called, from its 
^tuation, San Giorgio-in-Velabro, was built by Leo II. in 682. In a 
casket under the altar is preserved, as a precious relic, a fragment of 
his banner; and on the vault of the apsis is an ancient painting, the 
copy of a more ancient mosaic, which once existed there. In the centre 
stands the Redeemer between the Virgin and St. Peter ; on one side, 
St George on horseback, with his palm as martyr, and his standard as 
the ^' Red-Cross EInight ; " on the other side, St. Sebastian standing, 
bearded, and with one long arrow. From the time that these two saints 
were united in the popular fancy as martyrs and warriors, they are 
most frequently found in companionship, particularly in the Italian 
works of art In the French pictures and Gothic sculpture, St George 
does not often appear, and then usually in companionship with St 
Maurice or St Victor, who are likewise military saints. In the German 
pictures he is often accompanied by St Florian. 

' In the same chnrch is a series of pictures from the martyrdom of the tutelar saint, copio- 
sUsimi di figure deliepiu varie^ deUe piu spiritosey deUe piu terribili ne* camefici che mai vedessi, 
Lanzi, iii. p. 110. 




St. Sebastian. 

Lat Sanctus Sebastianos. ltd, San Sebastiaoo; or San Bostiano. Fr. St. Sebaatien. 
Patron saint against plague and pestilence. Janaaiy 20. aj>. 288. 

The story of SL Sebastian is of great beauty and great antiquity ; it 
has also the rare merit of being better authenticated in the leading inci- 
dents^ and less mixed up with incredible and fictitious matter^ than most 
of the antique legends. 

He was a native of Narbonne, in Gaul, the son of noble parents, who 
had held high offices in the empire. He was himself at an early age 
promoted to the command of a company in the Praetorian Guards, so 
that he was always near the person of the emperor, and held in especial 
favour. At this time he was secretly a Christian, but his faith only 
rendered him more loyal to his masters ; more faithful in all his engage- 
ments ; more mild, more charitable ; while his favour with his prince, 
and his popularity with the troops, enabled him to protect those who 
were persecuted for Christ's sake, and to convert many to the truth. 

Among his friends were two young men of noble family, soldiers like 
himself ; their names were Marcus and Marcellinus. Being convicted 
of being Christians, they were condemned to the torture, which they 
endured with unshaken firmness, and were afterwards led forth to death ; 
but their aged father and mother threw themselves in the way, and their 
wives and children gathered around them, beseeching them with tears 
and supplications to recant, and save themselves, even for the sake of 
those who loved and could not survive them. The two young heroes, 
who had endured tortures without shrinking, began to relent and to 
tremble ; but at this critical moment St. Sebastian, neglecting his own 
safety, rushed forward, and, by his exhortations, encouraged them 
rather to die than to renounce their Redeemer ; and such was the power 
of his eloquence, that not only were his friends strengthened and con- 
firmed in their faith, but all those who were present were converted : 
the family of the condemned, the guards, and even the judge himself, 
yielding to the irresistible force of his arguments, were secretly baptized. 
Marcus and Marcellinus were for this time saved ; but in a few months 


afterwards they were denounced with the whole Christian community, 
and put to death ; they died together, singing with a loud voice " Be- 
hold, how goodly and gracious a thing it is, brothers, to dwell together 
in amity;" and the other converts were put to cruel deaths. At length 
it came to the turn of Sebastian. 

But previously the emperor, who loved him, sent for him and remon- 
strated with him, saying, ** Have I not always honoured thee above the 
rest of my officers? Why hast thou disobeyed my commands, and 
insulted my gods?'' To which Sebastian replied, with equal meekness 
and courage, *' O Caesar, I have ever prayed, in the name of Jesus 
Christ, for thy prosperity, and have been true to thy service ; but as for 
the gods whom thou wouldst have me worship, they are devils, or, at 
best, idols of wood and stone.** 

Then Diocletian ordered that he should be bound to a stake and shot 
to death with arrows ; and that it should be inscribed on the stake and 
published to the troops that he suffered for being a Christian, and not 
for any other fault. And Sebastian having been pierced with many 
arrows, the archers left him for dead ; but in the middle of the night, 
Irene, the widow of one of his martyred friends, came with her attend- 
ants to take his body away, that she might bury it honourably ; and it 
was found that none of the arrows had pierced him in a vital part, and 
that he yet breathed. So they carried him to her house, and his 
wounds were dressed ; and the pious widow tended him night and day, 
until he had wholly recovered. 

When his Christian friends came around him, they counselled him to 
fly from Kome, knowing that if he were once discovered there would 
be no mercy shown to him. But Sebastian felt that this was not a 
time to hide himself, but to stand forth boldly and openly for the faith 
he professed ; and he went to the palace and stood before the gate, on 
the steps which he knew the emperor must descend on his way to the 
Capitol; and he raised his voice, pleading for those who were con- 
demned to suffer, and reproaching the emperor with his intolerance and 
cruelty ; and the emperor, looking on him with amazement, said, " Art 
thou not Sebastian ? " And he replied, " I am Sebastian, whom God 
hath delivered from thy hand, that I might testify to the faith of Jesus 

Christ and plead for his servants." Then Diocletian in his fury com- 

D 2 


mandcd that they should seize Sebastian and carry him to the Circus, 
and beat him to death with clubs ; and, that his body might be for ever 
hidden from his friends, it was thrown into the Cloaca Maidma. But 
these precautions were in vain, for a Christian lady, named Lucina, 
found means to recover the body of the saint, and interred it secretly in 
the catacombs, at the feet of St. Peter and St. Paul. 

It is probably from the association of the arrows with his form and 
story, that St. Sebastian has been regarded from the first ages of 
Christianity as the protecting saint against plague and pestilence. 
Arrows have been from all antiquity the emblem of pestilence ; Apollo 
was the deity who inflicted plague, therefore was invoked with prayer 
and sacrifice against it ; and to the honours of Apollo, in this particular 
character, St Sebastian has succeeded. It is in this character that 
numerous churches have been dedicated to him ; for according to the 
legendary traditions there is scarcely a city of Europe that has not been 
saved by the intercession of St Sebastian. 

His church at Rome, built over that part of the catacombs called the 
cemetery of Calixtus, is one of the seven Basilicas, and stands about two 
miles from the city on the Via Appia, outside the gate of San Sebas- 
tiano. All traces of the ancient church have disappeared, having been 
rebuilt in 1611. Under the high altar, is the recumbent statue of the 
saint. The almost colossal form lies dead, the head resting on his 
helmet and armour. It is evidently modelled from nature, and is, 
perhaps, the finest thing ever designed by Bernini : the execution was 
entrusted to his pupil. There is a fine cast in the Crystal Palace. 

The most interesting, though certainly not the most beautiful, eflSgy 
of St Sebastian existing at Kome is a very ancient mosaic, preserved in 
the Church of San Pietro-in-Vincoli, and supposed to have been exe- 
cuted in 683. Nothing can be more unlike the modem conception of 
the aspect and character of this favourite saint It represents him as a 
bearded warrior, in the Roman habit, wearing the cuirass, and over it 
the long garment or toga ; in his hand what seems to be the crown of 
martyrdom. On a marble tablet, on one side of the effigy, is the fol- 
lowing inscription in Latin ; I give the translation from Mr. Percy's 
" Rome and Romanism : " — 

ST. 8BBA8TI&N. 41B 

** To St. Sbbiatian, Marqnr, dispeller of the peitilence. In the jear of MlTUion G80, a 
pcmiciout and seTcre pestilence invaded the cit; of Rome. It wai of three mootbi' dsration, 
Jaly, Augnit, and September. Snch was the maltitnde of the dead, that, on the same bier, 
parents aad children, bnsbuidii and wives, with brothen and siiten, were borne ont to burial 
place*, which, cTerTwbere filled with bodies, hardlf iiifficed. In addi^on to ihii, nocturnal 
miracles alarmed than ; for two anjiteli, one good and (be other eTil, went tbrougfa ibe dtj ) 
and this last bearing a rod in his bond, as mnay limes as he struck the doors so many mortals 
fell in those houses. The disease spread for a length of time, nntit i I was announced to a 
holj man that there would be an end of the calamiCf, if, in Ihe chnrch of S. Peter ad Vincnbi, 
an altar shonld be consecrated to Sebastian the Msrtjr; which thing being done immediatelTt 
the pestilence, u if driven back bj hand, v/u commanded to cease." 

This waa juBt a hundred years after the famous plague of the time of 
Gregory the Great. From thia time, the end of the seventh century, 
St. Sebastian has been accepted as the universal patron aghast the 

He ia especially popular as a subject of Art all down the Eastern 
coast of Italy, in consequence of the prevalence of plague in those 
districts ; eometimea he b represented with his robe outspread, and pro- 
tecting the people beneath from showers of arrows; sometimes as 
interceding at the feet of the Vir^n, who at his entreaty commands the 
destroying angel to sheathe his sword. 

The more modem devotional figures of St. Sebastian rarely exhibit 
him in any other character than that of the martyr : even as patron 
saint the leading idea is still the same, for the arrows by which he is 
transfixed symbolise also the ehafla of the pestilence ; and they are the 
attribute not merely of the suffering and death of the martyr, but of 
the power of the sunt. He is a beautiful Apollo-like figure, in the 
bloom of youth, undraped, bound to a tree or a column, and pierced by 
one or several arrows. He is looking up to heaven with an expression 
of enthusiaetJc faith or mild resignation, while an angel descends from 
above with the crown and palm. The variations are merely those of 
attitude and debul ; sometimes his armour is seen lying at his feet ; 
sometimes he is not pierced by the arrows, only bound, and the arrows 
are lying at the foot of the tree. In the old pictures the background is 
frequently a court or hall of the imperial palace ; in all the modem 
pictures the background is landscape — the garden on the Palatine Hilt, 
where, according to tradition, the scene took place. Sometimes soldier^ 
or archers are seen in the distance. Though generally young, he is no-^. 


always so. Albert Durer and the Germans give him a respectable 
beard. Domenichino has also represented him as a man about thirty^ 
copying in this the ancient mosaic in San Pietro-in-Vincoli. 

In the pictures of the throned Madonna, St Sebastian is frequently 
introduced, standing on one side, arrow-pierced, with his hands bound 
behind him, and looking up to heaven. In some later pictures we see 
him kneeling, and presenting to the Virgin the arrows with which he is 
pierced ; or he is in armour, and merely holds an arrow in his hand. 

In general the most ancient pictures and prints of this subject are not 
agreeable, from the stiff and defective drawing ; and in the modem 
schools, when it became a favourite vehicle for the exhibition of elegant 
forms and fine anatomical modelling, it was too obviously a display of 
art We must seek, therefore, for the most beautiful St. Sebastians in 
those works which date between the two extremes ; and accordingly we 
find them in the pictures of Perugino, Francia, Luini, and the old 
Venetian painters. I could not point to a more charming example of 
this treatment than the Francia in our National Ghdlery, nor to a more 
perfect specimen of the savoir-faire school than the Guido in the 
Dulwich Gallery. The St. Sebastian, as is well known, was Guide's 
favourite subject ; he painted at least seven. Another instance of this 
kind of ostentatious sentiment in style is the Carlo Dolce in the Corsini 
Palace at Florence. 

The display of beautiful form, permitted and even consecrated by 
devotion, is so rare in Christian representations, that we cannot wonder 
at the avidity with which this subject was seized on, as soon as the first 
difficulties of art were overcome, nor at the multiplicity of examples we 
find in the later schools, particularly the Venetian and Bolognese. It 
would take pages to enumerate even a few of these ; but I must direct 
attention to some examples of very beautiful or very peculiar treatment. 

1. B. Luini. A beautiful figure bound to a tree, from amid the 
boughs of which an angel looks down upon him. The expression of the 
head is not that of enthusiastic faith, but of mild devout resignation.^ 

2. Beltraffio. Bound to a tree, he is wounded, but not transfixed, by 
the arrows. He is looking down, — not up, as is usual; with long 
curling hair, and a charming expression of benignity and gentleness.' 

* Certosa, Pavia, 

* The portrait, I believe, of Salaino, himself a painter, whom Vasari styles •* vaghissimo di 


3. Perugbo. The eaiDt, in red drapery, holds in one band the palm, 
in the other three arrows.' Another, in which he is standing nndraped, 
except that around his loins there is an embroidered scarf; his hands are 
bound behind him ; he is transfixed by three arrows, and looking up 
with the aaual enthusiaetic expres^on ; his long hiur floating in cnrls 
upon his shoulders.* — Another, in which he kneels before the Virgin ; 
in red drapery, transfixed by a single arrow.* 

4. Matteo di Siena. He stands on one side of the Madonna, covered 

grazia c di btBnta," and whoie beautiful Taco and curling bur (capelli ricd t intudia^ cod- 
tiDnoUj appear in the pictures of Lionardo and hi* ichool.— (Loavre.) 

■ Perugia, San I^etro. ' Florence Gal. ' Perugia, 8l AgoMioo. 


with wounds, but not transfixed by arrows. In one hand a single arrow 
and a pahn, in the other a martyr's crown. The head extremely fine.' 

5. A. Mantegna. He is bound to a pillar near a ruined triumphal 
arch.' The ruined arch and the ruined temples, sometimes strewed 
round St. Sebastian, may signify the destruction of the heathen powers ; 
otherwise, and in the historical representations, it is an anachronism : — 
the Palatine was still in all its glory when Sebastian suffered. 

6. Giorgione. He is standing, bound to an orange tree, with his 
arms bound above his head ; the dark eyes raised towards heaven. His 
helmet and armour lie at his feet ; his military mantle of green, em- 
broidered with gold, is thrown round him. This picture, widi the deep 
blue sky and the deep green foliage, struck me as one of the most 
solemn effects ever produced by feeling and colour. He is neither 
wounded nor transpierced.' 

7. Titian. Bound to a tree ; head declined, and the long hair falling 
partly over the face ; very fine and pathetic* It is the same figure 
which appears in the celebrated altar-piece dedicated by Averoldo in 
the church of SS. Nazaro and Celso at Brescia. 

8. Razzi. He is bound to a tree, pierced by three arrows, looking 
up to heaven with an expression perfectly divine. This picture was 
formerly used as a standard, and carried in procession when the city 
was afflicted by pestilence : — to my feeling it is the most beautiful 
example of the subject I have seen.* 

9. Liberale da Verona. Here also he is bound to the stem of an 
orange tree ; pierced with several arrows.* 

10. Baroccio. He is here fully draped, and holds two arrows in each 
hand, presenting them to the Virgin. 

1 1. Hernando Yanez. The saint standing with a lily near him ; the 
lily is unusual.^ 

There are a great many fine examples in the Bologna and Flemish 
schools, in which I have found almost invariably the usual motifs com- 
bined in general with great beauty of execution. 

» Acad. Siena. « Vienna Gal. 

■ On seeing this fine picture nearer in 1855, 1 am convinced that it is not by Giorgione, or 
has been mercilessly cleaned. — (Milan, Brera.) 

* Lichtenstein Gal. Vienna, » FI. Acad. • Berlin Gal. ' Tx)uvrc. Sp. Gal. 


12. Martin Schoen. In a rare print; St Sebastian, suspended 
against the trunk of a tree, is transfixed by six arrows. The figure is 
ill drawn and emaciated ; but tlie expression in the bead, declined and 
sickening into death, very pathetic and beauliful. It b setdom that he 
is represented as dying or fainting. 

13. Some old representations of St. Sebastian, from the German and 
Spanish schools, are very curious. There was a small picture, by 
Villegas, in the collection of Louis- 
Philippe, in which St Sebastian 

wears the rich costume of the six- 
teenth century, — an embroidered 
vest, a Iiat and feather ; an arrow in 
his breast ; in one hand a bow, and 
in tbe other a crucifix. 1 have seen 
also a German drawing, in which 
St Sebastian is dressed like a 
German cavalier, wearing a cap, a 
doublet, and an embroidered cloak ; 
one hand on his sword, the other 
resting on bis shield (which bears 
croslets and arrowheads as the de- 
vice) ; and pierced by three arrows, 
one of which has passed through his 
cheek : the expression of the youth- 
ful, almost boyish, face very beau- 
tiful. (105) 

14. He wears a full suit of black 
armour, over which is thrown a red 
mantle. In one hand he holds two 
arrows, in the other a croes.' 

15. In a picture by Rai^^elino del 

Garbo^, St Sebastian wears a blue vest, elegantly embroidered with 
gold, black hose and a crimson mantle. 

' In the note! lie Cluny, Parit. * Berlin Gal. 98. 


St. Sebastian has afforded an admirable subject for Christian 

1. By Matteo Civitale, there is a statue in white marble, in which 
he is bound to the trunk of a tree, pierced with several arrows. This 
statue, in spite of sundry faults of design, struck me by the beauty of 
the attitude and the beauty of expression. It is celebrated as being the 
first undraped statue of a male adult figure that had been produced since 
the revival of Art. The arrows are of metal, gilt' 

2. The statue by Puget in the church of Carignano at Genoa is also 
celebrated. It is colossal, and represents him transfixed, with his 
armour at his feet ; there is a good deal of expression, but a total want 
of simplicity. 

3. The statue in his church at Some has been already mentioned* 

St. Sebastian is everywhere popular ^, but more particularly in those 
countries and districts which were most exposed to the plague. For 
instance, all down the east coast of Italy, from Venice to Ban, St. 
Sebastian is constantly met with. In the more ancient pictiu-es his 
usual pendant is either St. George or St. Nicholas ; in the more modern 
pictures St. Roch : very often the healing- saints St. Cosmo and St. 
Damian. Wherever these are grouped together, or round the Virgin 
and Child, the picture has been dedicated against the plague. 

Some of these votive pictures have a very pathetic significance, when 
we consider them as commemorating the terrible visitations of pestilence 
which occasionally desolated the south of Europe. I will give one or 
two examples. 

1. The Madonna di Misericordia* is seen in the midst with her robes 
outspread, beneath which are gathered the afflicted votaries. Above, 
the Padre Eterno looks down from heaven. On the left of the Virgin 
St Sebastian, his hands bound and his whole body stuck full of arrows, 

* About 1470. Duomo, Lucca. 

' In England his effigies are not uncommon, and there are two churches dedicated to his 
honour, that of Gonerby in Lincolnshire, and Woodbastwich in Norfolk. (See Parker's 
" Calendar of the Anglican Church," p, 284.) He has, however, been banished from the English 
Calendar, in which many saints more apocryphal and less deserving still keep their place. 

' See Legends of the Madonna, p. 32. 


looks up with a pleading expression. The votaries present to him a 
prayer or petition, which he is supposed to repeat to the Virgin, through 
whom it reaches the Supreme Being, at whose command St. Michael, 
the Angel of Judgment, utters the word fiat, and sheathes his sword. ^ 
2. The following example is also very expressive. St Sebastian, in 
a rich military costume of blue embroidered with gold, stands as patron : 
his large cloak, spread open and sustained by angels, intercepts and 
shelters his votaries from the plague-arrows, which fall thickly on its 
folds as they are shot from above.^ 

Scenes from the life of St. Sebastian are confined to a few subjects, 
which have been frequently treated. 

Paul Veronese's " St. Sebastian exhorting and encouraging Marcus 
and IVIarcellinus, as they are led to death," in the church of S. Sebas- 
tiano at Venice, appeared to me, when I saw it last, one of the finest 
dramatic pictures I had ever beheld, and preferable to every other work 
of the master. Here St Sebastian stands on the summit of a flight of 
steps ; his fine martial figure, in complete armour, is relieved against 
the blue sky ; he waves a banner in his hand, and his whole air and ex- 
pression are full of inspired faith and enthusiasm ; Marcus and Marcel- 
linus stand by his side as if irresolute, surrounded by their weeping 
friends. It struck me as a magnificent scene played before me — with 
such a glow of light and life and movement and colour shed over it — 
such a triumphant enthusiasm in the martyrs — such variety of passion- 
ate energy and supplication and sympathy in the groups of relatives and 
spectators, that I felt as if in a theatre, looking at a well-played scene 
in a religious melodrama, and inclined to clap my hands, and cry 
« Bravo 1 " 

In curious contrast with this splendid composition, I remember a little 
old picture, in which St Sebastian is calmly exhorting his friends to 
die, their mother alone kneeling in supplication ; very stiff and dry, but 
the heads ftill of simple expression.^ 

' This curious rotive fresco is in a small chapel at Perugia. 

* This votive fresco was painted by Benozzo Gozzoli in the church of S. Agostino at San 

Gemignano, and commemorates the disastrous pingue of 1464. 

■ N. Semitecolo, a.d. 1367. Padua, 

E 2 


Of the scene in which St Sebastian confronta the emperor on the 
steps of his palace^ and pleads for the persecuted Christians, I have 
never seen any picture ; yet painting could hardly desire a finer 

The Martyrdom of St. Sebastian (for that is the name given to the 
scene in which he is shot with arrows) should be distinguished from 
those devotional figures which represent the saint as martyr ^ but not 
the act of martyrdom. His martyrdom, as an historical scene, is a sub- 
ject of frequent occurrence, and in every variety of treatment, from 
three or four figures to thirty or forty. When the scene is supposed to 
be the garden on the Palatine Hill, he is bound to a tree (in one in- 
stance, as I remember, to an orange tree) ; if the scene be the hall or 
court, he is bound to a pillar ; and the inscription, " Sebastianus Chris* 
tianus^ is sometimes affixed. 

1. The scene is a garden on the Palatine HiU. St Sebastian is 
bound on high amid the branches of a tree. Eight soldiers are shooting 
at him with cross-bows. Above, the sky opens in glory, and two angels 
hold over his head the crown of martyrdom. Admirable for the pic- 
turesque and dramatic treatment* 

2. PoUajuolo. The masterpiece of the painter. He is bound high 
up to the stump of a tree ; six executioners with cross-bows, and other 
figures in strained and difficult attitudes. St Sebastian is the portrait 
of Ludovico Capponi.* 

3. Pinturicchio. He is bound to a broken pillar ; another broken 
column is near him. There are six executioners with bows and arrows, 
and a man with a kind of mitre on his head is commanding the execu- 
tion. In the background the Coliseum.' 

4. In contrast with this representation I will mention that of Van- 
dyck, one of his finest pictures. St. Sebastian is bound to a tree, but 
not yet pierced : he appears to be preparing for his fate ; with eyes 
raised to heaven, he seems to pray for strength to endure. The 
youthful undraped figure is placed in full light; admirable for the 
faultless drawing and the noble expression. There are several soldiers ; 

' Fl. GaL Painter unknown. ■ Florence. CapcUa dei Pucci. 

' Vatican. 


and a centurion, mounted on a white horse^ appears to direct the ex- 

5. Pahna. Two executioners bind St. Sebastian to a tree ; soldiers 
are seen approaching with their bows and arrows; a cherub hovers 
above with the crown and the palm.* 

6. G. da Santa Croce. St. Sebastian is bound to a pilkr^ and 
prepares for death. The emperor on his throne^ and a number of 

7. The only celebrated St, Sebastian of the Spanish school which I 
can refer to^ is a martyrdom by Sebastian Munoz, who appears to have 
painted his patron saint with equal love and power.^ 

8. But the most celebrated example of all is the large picture by 
Domenichino^ in the church of S. Maria degli Angeli at Rome. Here 
the event is a grand dramatic scene, in which the attention is divided 
between the sufferings and resignation of the martyr, the ferocity of 
the executioners, and the various emotions of the spectators ; there are 
about thirty-five figures, and the locality is a garden or landscape. 
The mosaic is in St. Peter's. 

It is a great mistake^ bespeaking the ignorance or carelessness of the 
painter, when in the representations of the martyred St. Sebastian an 
arrow is through his head (as in a composition by Tintoretto, and 
another by Albert Dttrer), for such a wound must have been instantly 
mortal, and his recovery is always related as having taken place through 
natural and not through miraculous agency. 

St Sebastian recalled to life after his martyrdom, is a beautiful sub- 
ject. It is treated in two different ways : sometimes he is drooping in 
apparent death, one arm yet bound to the tree, while pitying angels 
draw the arrows from his wounds. It has been thus represented by 
Procaccino; by Vandyck in a beautiful picture now at St. Peters- 
burg ; and when conceived in a true religious spirit must be considered 
as strictly devotional : but I have seen some examples which rather 

« Munich GaL * Eng. by Sadder. " a. d. 1520. Berlin Gal, 

* It is now in the Madrid Gallery. Mr. Stirling mentions it with admiration, but does n^^ 
describe the picture. There are few good representations of St. Sebastian in Spanish ^w 
perhaps because the rigid ecclesiastical supervision forbade the undrapcd figure. ^ 


suggested the idea of an Adonis bewept by Cupids^ as in a picture by 
Alessandro Veronese.^ The ministering angels in this and similar 
scenes ought never to be infant angels. 

Another manner of treating this subject is more dramatic than ideal : 
St Sebastian lies on the ground at the foot of a tree, insensible from 
his wounds ; Irene and her maid minister to him ; one unbinds him from 
the tree, the other extracts the arrows : sometimes Irene is attended 
by a physician. The subject has been thus treated by Correggio, by 
Padovanino, and others ; but I have never seen any example which 
satisfied me either in sentiment or execution. 

In the legend of St. Sebastian I find no account of his being tortured 
previous to his last martyrdom ; but I have seen a large Italian print ^ 
in which he is bound on the rack — his armour lies near him ; a Pagan 
priest is seen exhorting him to renounce his faith ; and there are nume- 
rous other figures, dogs, &c. introduced.* 

The death of St Sebastian, his second martyrdom, was painted by P. 
Veronese in his church. Unfortunately for this picture, it hangs oppo- 
site to the incomparable Marcus and Marcellinus already described, to 
which it is much inferior ; it therefore receives little attention, and less 
than justice. 

St. Sebastian is the favourite saint of the Italian women, and more 
particularly of the Koman women. His youth, courage, and beauty of 
person, the interest of his story, in which the charity of woman plays 
such an important part, and the attractive character of the representa- 
tion, have led to this preference. Instances are recorded of the figure 
of St. Sebastian producing the same effect on an excitable southern 
fancy that the statue of the Apollo produced on the " Girl of Provence" 
— a devotion ending in passion, madness, and death. 

From the fourteenth century the pendant of St Sebastian in devo- 
tional pictures is generally St. Roch, of whom we are now to speak. 

' Louvre, No. 851. 

• By Caraglio. Described in Bartsch, Peintre Graveur, xix. 282. See also in the same 
work, XX. p. 201. 

' I conceive it to be an example of ignorance in the artist, if, indeed, it bo intended for a 
St Sebastian. 


St. Roch. 

LaL Sanctos Rochas. Ital San Rocco. Fr, St Roch, or Roqne. Patron saint of those who 
langntsh in prison ; of the sick in hospitals ; and particolarlj of those who are stricken by 
the plague. Aagost 16. aj>, 1327. 

The legend of St Roch is comparatively modem ; the main facts, hap- 
pily, are not incredible, and tolerably authentic ; and in the decorative 
incidents there is even more of the pathetic than the wonderful. It 
appealed strongly to the sympathies of the people ; it gave them a new 
patron and intercessor against that scourge of the middle ages, the 
plague ; and as it became extensively known and popular just at the 
time of the revival of Art, it has followed that the eflBgy of this benefi- 
cent saint is one of those most frequently met with throughout the whole 
of Western Christendom : in Greek Art it is unknown. 

^* St. Roch was bom at Montpelier, in Languedoc, the son of noble 
parents.^ His father's name was John ; he came into the world with a 
small red cross marked upon his breast ; and his mother Libera, regard- 
ing him, therefore, as one consecrated even from his birth to a life of 
sanctity, watched over his education with peculiar care. The boy 
himself, as he grew up, was impressed with the same idea, and in all 
things acted as one called to the service of God ; but with him this en- 
thusiasm did not take the usual form — that of religious vows, or of an 
existence spent in cloistered solitude; — his desire was to imitate the 
active virtues of the Redeemer, while treading humbly in his footsteps 
in regard to the purity and austerity of his life. 

^^ The death of his father and mother, before he was twenty, placed 
him in possession of vast riches in money and land : he began by fol- 
lowing literally the counsel of our Saviour to the young man who asked, 
* What shall 1 do to be saved ? ' He sold all that the law enabled him 
to dispose of, and distributed the proceeds to the poor and to the hos- 
pitals. Then, leaving the administration of his lands to his father's 
brother, he put on the dress of a pilgrim, and journeyed on foot towards 

* Some aathors place the date of his birth in 1280, others in 1295. 


Kome. When he arrived at Aquapendente, the plague was raging in 
the town and the neighbourhood^ and the sick and the dying encum- 
bered the streets. St Koch went to the hospital^ and offered to assist 
in tending the innmtes ; he was accepted ; and such was the efficacy of 
his treatment, and his tender sympathy, that, as it was commonly said, 
a blessing more than human waited on his ministry ; and the sick were 
healed merely hy his prayers, or merely by the sign of the cross, as he 
stood over them : and when the plague ceased shortly afterwards, they, 
in the enthusiasm of their gratitude, imputed it solely to the intercession 
of this benign being, who, with his youth, his gentleness, and his fearless 
devotion, appeared to them little less than an angel." 

That St. Roch himself, struck by the success of his ministry, should 
have believed that a peculiar blessing rested on his efforts, is not sur- 
prising, when we consider the prevalent belief in miracles and mira- 
culous influences throughout the thirteenth century. Hearing that the 
plague was desolating the province of Bomagna, he hastened thither, 
and, in the cities of Cesena and Rimini, devoted himself to the service 
of the sick. Thence he went to Rome, where a fearful pestilence had 
broken out, and spent three years in the same charitable ministry, 
always devoting himself to those who were most miserable and appa- 
rently abandoned by all other help. His incessant prayer to God was, 
that he might be found worthy to die as a martyr in the exercise of the 
duties he had voluntarily taken on himself; but for a long time his 
prayer was not heard ; it seemed as if an unseen power shielded his 
life in the midst of the perils to which he was daily and hourly ex- 

*^ Thus some years passed away. He travelled from city to city : 
wherever he heard that there was pestilence and misery prevailing, 
there was he found ; and everywhere a blessing waited on his presence. 
At length he came to the city of Piacenza, where an epidemic of a 
frightful and unknown kind had broken out amongst the people: he 
presented himself, as usual, to assist in the hospital ; but here it pleased 
God to put him even to that trial for which he had so often prayed — 
to subject him to the same suffering and affliction which he had so often 
alleviated, and make him in his turn dependent on the charity of others 
for aid and for sympathy. 

8T. BOCH. 427 

*^ One nighty being in the hospital, he sank down on the ground^ 
overpowered by fatigue and want of sleep : on awaking, he found 
himself plague-stricken ; a fever burned in every limb, and a horrible 
ulcer had broken out in his left thigh. The pain was so insupportable 
that it obliged him to shriek aloud : fearing to disturb the inmates of 
the hospital, he crawled into the street ; but here the officers of the 
city would not aUow him to remain, lest he should spread infection 
round. He yielded meekly; and, supported only by his pilgrim's 
staff, dragged himself to a wood or wilderness outside the gates of Pia- 
cenza, and there laid himself down, as he thought, to die. 

*^ But God did not forsake him ; far from all human help, all human 
sympathy, he was watched over and cared for. He had a little dog 
which in all his pilgrimage had faithfully attended him ; this dog every 
day went to the city, and came back at evening with a loaf of bread in 
his mouth, though where he obtained it none could tell. Moreover, as 
the legend relates, an angel from heaven came and dressed his wound, 
and comforted him, and ministered to him in his solitude, until he was 
healed ; but others, less believing, say it was a man of that country 
whose name was Gothard, who on this occasion acted the part of a good 
angel towards him. However this may be, St. Roch, rejoicing that he 
had been found worthy to suffer in the cause of charity, which is truly 
the cause of Christ our Redeemer, went on his way as soon as he had 
strength to travel, and bent his steps towards his own home and 
country ; and being arrived at a little village near Montpelier, which 
was in fact his own, and the people his hereditary vassals, he was so 
changed by long suffering, so wasted and haggard, that they did not 
know him. The whole country being at that time full of suspicion and 
danger, because of hostilities and insurrections, he was arrested as a spy, 
and carried before the judge of Montpelier : the judge, who was no 
other than his own uncle, looked upon him without knowing him, and 
ordered him to be c^uried to the public prison. St. Roch, believing 
that such an affliction could only be laid upon him by the hand of God, 
with the intent to try him further, held his peace, and instead of re- 
vealing himself, yielded meekly to the unjust sentence, and was shut up 
in a dungeon. Here, having no one to plead for him, and being re- 
solved to leave his cause in the hands of God, and to endure patiently 



all that was inflicted, he languished for five years. At the end of that 
time, as the jailer entered his cell one morning, to bring the usual 
pittance of bread and water, he was astonished and dazzled by a bright 
supernatural light, which filled the dungeon ; he found the poor pri- 
soner dead, and by his side a writing which revealed his name, and 
containing, moreover, these words: — * All those who are stricken by 
the plague, and who pray for aid through the merits and intercession of 
Koch, the servant of God, shall be healed.' When this writing was 
carried to his uncle the judge, he was seized with grief and remorse, 
and wept exceedingly, and caused his nephew to be buried honourably, 
amid the tears and prayers of the whole city." 

The death of St. Roch is usually placed in the year 1327, when he 
was in his thirty-second year. The people of Montpelier and the 
neighbourhood regarded his memory with the utmost devotion ; but for 
nearly a hundred years afterwards we do not hear of St. Roch as an 
object of general veneration in Christendom. In the year 1414, when 
a council of the Church was held at Constance (the same which con-> 
demned Huss), the plague broke out in the city, and the prelates were 
about to separate and to fly from the danger. Then a young German 
monk, who had travelled in France, reminded them that there was a 
saint of that country, through whose merits many had been redeemed 
from the plague. The council, following his advice, ordered the eflSgy 
of St Roch to be carried in procession through the streets, accompanied 
by prayers and litanies ; and immediately the plague ceased. Such is 
the tradition to which St. Roch owes his universal fame as a patron 
saint. In the year 1485 the Venetians, who from their commerce with 
the Levant were continually exposed to the visitation of the plague, re- 
solved to possess themselves of the relics of St. Roch. A kind of holy 
alliance was formed to commit this pious robbery. The conspirators 
sailed to Montpelier under pretence of performing a pilgrimage, and 
carried off the body of the saint, with which they returned to Venice, 
and were received by the doge, the senate, and the clergy, and all the 
people, with inexpressible joy.* The magnificent church of St Roch 

> Baillet, Vie de S. Roch. The Venetian account is slightly varied: In 1485, **un 
jnonaco Camaldolese fu tanto felice da poter rapire il corpo di S. Rocco, ch' era con somma 
gelosia costodito in Ugheria, CastcUo ncl Mibinese, e portarlo a Venczia.** — Origine deUe ' 
Feste Veneziane di Giuslina Renter Michiel. 

was built to receive the precious relics of the saint, by a community 
already formed under his auspices for the purpose of tending the sick and 
poor, and particularly thoK who were stricken by infectious di^rders, 
in which many of the chief nobility were proud to enrol themselves. 
Such was the origin of the famous Scuola di San Rocca at Venice, on 
the decoration of which Tintoretto and his scholars lavished their 
utmost skill. 

In devotional pictures the figure of St. 
Bocb IB easily distinguished. He is repre- 
sented as a man in the prime of life, with 
a small beard, delicate and somewhat ema- 
ciated features, and a refined and compas- 
sionate expression. Those pictures which 
represent him as a robust coarse-featured 
man must be considered as mistaken in 
point of character. He is habited as a 
pilgrim, with the cockle-shell in hia hat ; 
{he wallet at his side ; in one band the staff, 
while with the other he lifts his robe to 
show the plf^e-spot, or points to it In 
general he is accompanied by bis dog. 
This figure by Carotto will give an idea of 
the usual manner of treatment in dress and 
deportment. (106) 

1. One of the happiest and truest repre- 
sentations of St. Boch I ever saw, consis- 
tently with the idea we form of his cha- 
racter, is a figure in an old Florentine 
picture, I think by Gerino da Pistoia ; St 
Boch is here a thin pale young man, with 
light hair and small beard, and mtid delicate 

2. St Boch intercedes for Cardinal s ro, c 
Alessandro d' Este (in a picture by Parmi- 

giano). The cardinal kneels, with joined hands, and St. Boch, bending 


II I - — — • 1 1 * — 

over him^ with a benevolent air, lays his hand on his fur robe. The 
dog 18 in the background. This appears to have been a votive picture, 
on the occasion of the cardinal being struck with illness, and healed at 
the intercession of St. Roch. Such votive figures of St. Boch are 
frequently met with in the chapels and churches dedicated to him, and 
more particularly in the hospitals, convents, and other institutions of the 
Order of Charity. 

3. St. Roch, very richly dressed, stands in the usual attitude, pointing 
to the plague-spot ; a small but very fine picture by Garofalo in the 
Belvedere Gallery at Vienna. 

4. St. Roch with the Angel : a beautiful picture by Annibal Caracci, 
in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. 

5. The great altar-piece painted by Rubens for the church at Alost 
is strictly a devotional picture, though treated in the most dramatic 
manner. The upper part of the picture represents the interior of a 
prison, illuminated by a supernatural light. St. Roch, kneeling, not as 
a suppliant, but with an expression of the most animated gratitude, 
looks up in the face of Christ, and receives from him his mission as 
patron saint against the plague. An angel holds a tablet, on which is 
inscribed, ^* Eris in peste patronus," in allusion to the writing found 
within his cell after his death. The dog is near him. In the lower 
part of the picture a group of ihe sick and the afflicted (painted with all 
that power of expression which belonged to Rubens) invoke the inter- 
cession of the charitable saints This picture has been erroneously 
described as St. Roch supplicating for those smitten by the plague ; the 
motif is altogether different. Rubens painted it in eight days for the 
confraternity of St. Roch ; he demanded for his work 800 florins, which 
the agents for the charitable brotherhood told down without making 
the slightest objection to the price. The painter, delighted with their 
generosity, presented to them three smaller pictures to be placed 
beneath the altar-piece : in the centre the crucifix ; on one side St. 
Roch healed by the angel ; on the other the saint dying in prison. 

The separate pictures of his life are confined to few subjects ; the 
most frequent of which are — his charity, and his ministration to the 

1. Annibal Caracci. St, Roch distributes his goods to the poor 

ST. BOCH. 481 

before he sets out on his pilgrimage to Rome. One of hb most cele- 
brated pictures, full of beautiful and pathetic expression. It was 
painted for a benevolent canon of Beggio, who presented it to the cha- 
ritable brotherhood of St. Roch in his native city. Such pictures, 
whatever their merit as works of art, seem to me to lose much when 
transported from their original destination to the walls of a gallery. 

2. Procaccino. St Roch ministering to the sick. The patients are 
seen in beds in the background ; some are brought by their friends and 
laid at the feet of the saint. 

3. Finer is a picture by Bassano, of which the intense and natural 
expression rivets the attention and melts the heart. Here the Virgin, 
a very majestic figure, stands alone in the sky above, interceding for 
the sufferers below. It is the finest and one of the largest pictures by 
Bassano I have ever seen.' Pictures of this subject are often met with; 
but perhaps the finest of all, at least the most effective, is that of Tin- 
toretto ; — the variety of expression in the sufferers and spectators is 
wonderfully dramatic* 

(We must distinguish this scene in the life of St. Roch from a similar 
subject in the life of St. Charles Borromeo. St- Roch wears the habit 
of a pilgrim ; St Charles that of a bishop or cardinal.) 

4. St Roch in the desert is healed by an angel ; the dog b seen 
approaching with a loaf of bread in hb mouth. The mild pathetic 
resignation and gratitude of the good saint, and the picturesque accom- 
paniments, render this a very striking subject. The picture by Tinto* 
retto b the finest example. 

5. Guido. St Roch in prison ; his dog at hb side ; an angel from 
above comforts him. (At Modena. The same subject by Tintoretto 
at Venice.) 

6. St Roch dying in prison. He is extended on some straw, and 
hb hands are folded in prayer. Sometimes he is alone ; but sometimes 
a jailer or attendant, entering the prison, looks at him with astonish- 

The statues of St Roch exhibit him in the usual attitude, which, it 
must be confessed, is hardly fitted for sculpture ; yet some of these 

» Milan Brera, 53. ' Venice. Scuola di San Rocco. 


figures are very beautiful in sentiment^ and make us forget the merely 
physical infliction^ in the sublime self-devotion. 

The history of this saint, in a series of subjects, is often found in the 
churches and chapels dedicated to him : we have generally the following 
scenes: 1. He distributes his goods to the poor, called "The Charity 
of St Roch" (^U Elemosina di San Rocco). 2. He ministers to the 
sick : the scene is generally an hospital. 3. St. Roch in the desert. He 
is prostrated by sickness, and points to an ulcer in his thigh. An angel 
and his dog are near him. 4. St« Roch standing before the Pope. 5. 
St« Roch in prison, visited by an angel. 6. His death. 

In the upper hall of the Scuola di San Rocco, at Venice, where the 
brotherhood used to assemble, the tribune at the end is wainscoted by 
panels of oak, on which the whole history of the saint is carved in relief 
in twenty subjects.' 

Those works of art in which St. Sebastian and St. Roch figure in 
companionship as joint protectors against the plague are innumerable. 
The two beautiful figures by Francia, engraved by Marc Antonio, are 
examples of simplicity and benign graceful feeling. The contrast be- 
tween the enthusiastic martyr and the compassionate pilgrim ought 
always to be strongly marked, not merely in the attitude and habili- 
ments, but in the whole character and expression. 

There are two swnts who are easily confoimded with St- Roch, — St- 
Omobuono and St. Alexis. The reader will do well to turn to their 
respective legends, where I have particularised the points of difierence. 

With St. Sebastian and St. Roch we often find in significant com- 
panionship the medical brothers, St. Cosmo and St. Damian. The first 
two saints as patrons of the sick ; the last two as patrons of those who 
heal the sick.* 

> They were executed about the middle of the last century by Giovanni Marchiori and his 
pupils ; the workmanship, beautiful, but the designs in the mannered taste of the time« 
' See Introduction, p. 22. 


• St. Cosmo and St. Damian. 

Lot, SS. Ck)8niiis et Damianus. ItaL 88. Cosimo e Damiano gli santi medici Arabi. Fr, 
SS. Come et Damien. Patron saints of medicine and the medical profession. Patrons also 
of the Medici family ; and as such thej figure on the coins of Florence. Sept 27. 
juo. 301. 

** Cosmo and Damian were two brothers, Arabians by birth, but they 
dwelt in ^gse, a city of Cilicia.* Their father having died while they 
were yet children, their pious mother Theodora brought them up widi 
all diligence, and in the practice of every Christian virtue. Their 
charity was 90 great, that not only they lived in the greatest abstinence, 
distributing their goods to the infirm and poor, but they studied medi- 
cine and surgery, that they might be able to prescribe for the sick, and 
relieve the sufferings of the wounded and infirm ; and the blessing of 
God being on all their' endeavours, they became the most learned and 
the most perfect physicians that the world had ever seen. They minis- 
tered to all who applied to them, whether rich or poor. Even to suffer- 
ing animals they did not deny their aid, and they constantly refused all 
payment or recompense, exercbing their art only for charity and for 
the love of God ; and thus they spent their days. At length those 
wicked emperors, Diocletian and Maximian, came to the throne, in 
whose time so many saints perished. Among them were the physicians^ 
Cosmo and Damian, who, professing themselves Christians, were seized 
by Lycias the proconsul of Arabia, and cast into prison. And first 
they were thrown into the sea, but an angel saved them ; and then into 
the fire, but the fire refused to consume them ; and then they were 
boimd on two crosses and stoned, but of the stones flung at them, none 
reached them, but fell on those who threw them, and many were killed. 
So the proconsul, believing that they were enchanters, commanded that 
they should be beheaded, which was done.'' 

This Oriental legend, which is of great antiquity, was transplanted 

into Western Europe in the first ages of Christianity. The Emperor 

' Justinian, having been recovered, as he supposed, from a dangerous 

1 It is worth while to remark here, that in this city of JEgse there was a temple of JQscu- 
lapius, famous for the miraculous cures wrought by the god, and destroyed by Onstantine. 


illness^ by the intercession of these saints, erected a superb church in 
their honour. Among the Grreeks they succeeded to^the worship and 
attributes of ^sculapius ; and, from their disinterested refusal of all 
pay or reward, they are distinguished by the honourable title of Anar- 
gyresy which signifies moneyless, or without fees. 

One of the most interesting of the old Roman churches is that erected 
to the honour of these saints by Pope Felix IV. in 526. It stands in 
the Forum, near the temple of Antoninus and Faustina, on the site of 
the temple of Remus : the Greek mosaics in the apsis exhibit probably 
the most ancient representations of St. Cosmo and St. Damian whidi 
exist. In the centre is the figure of Christ holding a roll (t.e. the 
Gospel) in his hand, a majestic figure ; on one side St. Peter presents 
St. Cosmo, on the other St. Paul presents St. Damian, to the Saviour. 
They are exactly alike, in loose white draperies, and holding crowns of 
offering in their hands ; colossal, ghastly, rigid, and solemn, after the 
manner of the old mosaics, and of course wholly ideal. Nearly contem- 
porary are the mosaics in the ancient church of San Michele at Ravenna, 
where the archangels Michael and Gabriel stand on each side of the 
Redeemer, and beyond them SS. Cosmo and Damian. 

The representations of these benevolent brothers in later times are 
equally ideal, but more characteristic as personages. 

In devotional pictures, they are always represented together, attired 
in the habit of physicians, a loose dark red robe, trinmied with fur, and 
generally red caps. It is thus Chaucer describes the dress of a physician 
in his time — " In scarlet gown, furred well." 

They hold a little box of ointment in one hand, and a lancet or some 
surgical instrument in the other : sometimes it is a pestle and mortar. 
They occur frequently in the old Florentine pictures, particularly in 
those painted in the fifteenth century, in the time of Cosmo de' Medici. 
In several beautiful Madonna pictures in the Gallery of the UflSzii, and 
in the churches of Florence, they are grouped with other saints, from 
whom they are distinguished by their medical costume, and a certain 
expression of grave attention, rather than devotion, which gives them . 
often the look of portnuts. 

The illustration is a sketch from a picture by Bicci di Lorenzo, in 
the Florence Gallery. They stand together, in red gowns and caps. 


and red hose. This picture remained in the Duomo from the date of 
its execution, 1418, till 1844, and is cunoue as having been painted in 
the time of Giovanni de' Medici, the founder of the greatness of the 

It is as the patron saints of the Medici family that their statues, designed 
by M. Angelo, stand on each aide of the Madonna in the Medici Chapel 
at Florence, where they are so overpowered by the stupendous grandeur 
.of the other statues, that few visitors look at them, and fewer compre- 
hend why they are there. They have no attributes; and it must be 
allowed, that, whatever be their artistic merit, they are quite devoid of 
ia^ridual propriety of character. 


These saints are very interesting when they occur in votive pictures, 
as significant of thanksgiving for restoration to health ; they are gene- 
rally presenting a votary to Christ or the Madonna. Where they are 
kneeling or standing in company with St. Sebastian and St. Boch, the 
picture commemorates some visitation of the plngue or other epidemic 
disorder^ as in 1. A most beautiful picture in the Academy of Siena: 
clothed in loose robes, they kneel in front before the Madonna ; St. 
George and St. Sebastian on each side.* 2. And another, more beauti- 
ful, by Ghirlandajo, where St. John the Baptist, as patron of Florence, 
stands on one side, and Cosmo and Damian on the other. 3. Another, 
by Titian, in the Salute at Venice, where SS. Cosmo and Damian, with 
St Roch and St. Sebastian, stand before the throne of St. Mark — com- 
memorative of the great plague in 1512.* 4. And another, by Tinto- 
retto ; SS. Cosmo and Damian, in magnificent robes of crimson velvet 
with ermine capes, kneeling ; one holds a palm, the other a pestle and 
mortar ; they look up to the Madonna, who appears in a glory above 
with St George, St Mark, and St Catherine, the patrons of Venice.* 

5. SS. Cosmo and Damian kneeling in front before the throne of the 
Madonna. Standing by the throne, St Mary Magdalene, St. Catherine, 
St John B., and St Francis.^ 

These are apparently votive pictures, expressing public or national 
gratitude ; but others should seem to be the expression of private feel- 
ing. For example : SS. Cosmo and Damian are seated at a table, and 
consulting over a book ; they wear loose robes, and red caps turned up 
with fur ; the heads, which are very fine, have the air of portraits : a 
sick man, approaching from behind, reverently takes off his cap.* 

While devotional pictures of these helpful and beneficent saints are 
extremely conunon, and varied in treatment, subjects from their life and 
history are very rare; they are most frequently met with in the 

* Matteo di Siena, a.d. 1470. 

' See the Frontispiece of this volame. St Mark, as patron of Venice, sits enthroned 
above, holding his Gospel ; below, on the right, stand St Roch and St Sebastian as protectors, 
and on the left St. Cosmo and St Damian, the medical saints, as healers. I have merely 
given the expressive group. No copy or description can do justice to the glow of life and 
colour in the picture. 

■ Venice Acad. * Fl. Acad. * Rome, Corsini Pal. 


Florentine school of the fifteenth century, among the works of Angelico, 
Pesellino, and Ghirlandajo. 

1. Old Italian. SS. Cosmo and Damian, visiting the sick, minister 
to Christ in the disguise of a pilgrim ; a beautiful allegory, or rather a 
literal interpretation of the text, " Inasmuch as ye have done it unto 
the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." A quaint 
little picture, but very expressive.' 

2. Peselhno. The two brothers minister to a sick man.* 

They are sometimes surgeons as well as apothecaries, cutting off and 
replacing legs and anus; and sometimea they are letting blood. 

3. It is related that a certain man, who was afflicted with a cancer in 
his leg, went to perform his devotions in the church of St. Cosmo and 
St. Damian at Bome, and he prayed moat earnestly that these beneficent 
saints would he pleased to aid him. When he had prayed, a deep sleep 
fell upon him. Then he beheld St. Cosmo and St. Damian who stood 
beside him; and one carried a box of ointment, the other a sharp knife. 
And one said, " What shall we do to replace this diseased leg when we 


have cut it off?" and the other replied, " There is a Moor who has been 
buried just now in San Pietro in Vincole; let us take hie leg for the 
purpose." Then they brought the leg of the dead man, and with it 
they replaced the leg of the sick man ; anointing it with celestial oint- 
ment, BO that he remained whole. When he awoke he almost doubted 
whether it could be himself; but his neighbours, seeing that he was 
healed, looked into the tomb of the Moor, and found that there had 
been an exchange of legs : and thus the truth of this great miracle was 
proved to all beholders,' 

Of this story I have seen some grotesque representations. For 
example : — The sick man is lying on a bed, and St. Cosmo and St. 
Bamian are busy affixing a black leg ; at a little distance on the ground 
lies the dead Moor, with a white leg lying beside him.* 

4. In the scene of their martyrdom by Fesellino — a beautiful little 
picture — they are beheaded. They wear the red tunics and red cape 
usual in the Florentine representations.' 

About the year 1439, Cosmo de' Medici commisaioned Fra Angelico 
' Legcnila Aarca. ' Fl. Oai. ■ fI. Acad. 


to paint the altar-piece which he presented to the church of San Marco 
at Florence. Underneath the group of the Virgin and phild^ An- 
gelico represented the legendary history of the patron saints of the 
Medici family in nine beautiful little miniatures ; at Munich are three 
pictures which I suppose to belong to this series, which formed the pre* 
della of the altar-piece. 1. St Cosmo and St. Damian^ with their 
brethren, are bound and thrown into the sea, but saved by angels. On 
the right the unjust judge, Lysias, is healed by the prayer of the 
martyrs. 2. St. Cosmo and St. Damian are nailed to two crosses, and 
their three brethren below are shot to death with stones and arrows. 
3. The third picture, which formed the centre, is a Pieti, very poetically 
treated.^ Sometimes in the scene of their martyrdom three other per- 
sonages, their kinsmen, suffer with them. In other respects the legend 
as given above is, in all the examples I have seen, very exactly adhered 
to. These saints do not appear in the later schools. As, perhaps, a 
solitary instance, may be mentioned a picture by Salvator Kosa, where 
St. Cosmo and St. Damian on a pile of faggots are exposed to the 
flames, which refuse to consume them. I know the composition only 
from the engraving by Pierre Simon. 

St. Christopher. 

LaL St. Christophorus. ItaL San Cristofero, or Cristofano. Fr. St. Christophe, or St.* 
Christofle. Ger, Der Heilige Christoph. July 25. a.d. 364. 

Among the religious parables of the middle ages^ there is not one more 
fancifxd and more obvious in its application than the story of St. 
Christopher. But, although poetical and significant as a parable, it 
becomes as a mere legend prosaic and puerile : it is necessary to keep 
the latent meaning in view while we read the story, and when we look 
upon the extremely picturesque representations of the Canaanitish 
giant; for, otherwise, the peculiar superstition which has rendered 
him so popular and so important as a subject of art will lose all its 

Christopher was of the land of Canaan, and tlie name by which he 

* Munich. Pinnakothck. Cabinet, xxL 


was there known was Offero. He was a man of colossal stature, and of 
a terrible aapect, and, being proud of his vast bulk and strength, he was 
resolved that he would serve no other than the greatest and the most 
powerful monarch that existed. So he travelled far and wide to seek 
this greatest of kings ; and at length he came to the court of a certain 
monarch who was said to exceed in power and riches all the kings of 
the earth, and he offered to serve him. And the king, seeing his great 
height and strength, — for, surely, since the giant of Gath there had 
been none like to him, — entertained him with joy. 

Now it happened one day, as Christopher stood by the king in his 
court, there came a minstrel who sang before the king, and in his story 
there was frequent mention of the devil, and every time the king heard 
the name of the evil spirit he crossed himself. Christopher inquired 
the reason of this gesture, but the king did not answer. Then said 
Christopher, " If thou tellest me not, I leave thee 1" So the king told 
him : " I make that sign to preserve me from the power of Satan, for I 
fear lest he overcome me and slay me." Then said Christopher, ** If 
thou fearest Satan, then thou art not the most powerful prince in the 
world ; thou hast deceived me. I will go seek this Satan, and him will 
I serve ; for he is mightier than thou art." So he departed, and he 
travelled far and wide ; and as he -crossed a desert plain, he beheld a 
great crowd of armed men, and at their head marched a terrible and 
frightful being, with the air of a conqueror : and he stopped Christopher 
on his path, saying, "Man, where goest thou?" And Christopher 
answered, '^ I go to seek Satan, because he is the greatest prince in the 
world, and him would I serve." Then the other replied, ** I am he : 
seek no farther." Then Christopher bowed down before him, and 
entered his service ; and they travelled on together. 

Now, when they had journeyed a long long way, they came to a place 
where four roads met, and there was a cross by the way-side. When 
the Evil One saw the cross he was seized with fear, and trembled 
violently ; and he turned back, and made a great circuit to avoid it. 
When Christopher saw this he was astonished, and inquired, " Why 
hast thou done so?" and the devil answered not. Then said Christo- 
pher, ** If thou tellest me not, I leave thee." So, being thus con- 
strained, the fiend replied, " Upon that cross died Jesus Christ ; and 


when I behold it I must tremble and fly, for I fear him." Then 
Christopher was more and more astonished ; and he add, ^^ How, then I 
this Jesus, whom thou fearest, must be more potent than thou art I I 
will go seek him, and him will I serve I" So he left the devil^ and 
travelled far and wide, seeking Christ; and, having sought him for 
manj days, he came to the cell of a holy hermit, and desired of him 
that he would show him Christ. Then the hermit began to instruct 
him diligently, and said, ^^ This king, whom thou seekest, is, indeed, the 
great king of heaven and earth ; but if thou wouldst serve him, he will 
impose many and hard duties on thee. Thou must fast often." And 
Christopher said, " I will not fast ; for, surely, if I were to fast my 
strength would leave me." " And thou must pray ! " added the hermit. 
Said Christopher, " I know nothing of prayers, and I will not be bound 
to such a service." Then said the hermit, ^^ Knowest thou a certain 
river, stony and wide and deep, and often swelled by the rains, and 
wherein many people perish who attempt to pass over?" And he 
answered, " I know it" Then said the hermit, " Since thou wilt 
neither fast nor pray, go to that river, and use thy strength to aid and 
to save those who struggle with the stream, and those who are about to 
perisL It may be that this good work shall prove acceptable to Jesus 
Christ, whom thou desirest to serve ; and that he may manifest himself 
to thee ! " To which Christopher replied, joyfully, " This I can do. It 
is a service that pleaseth me well I " So he went as the hermit had 
directed, and he dwelt by the side of the river ; and, having rooted up 
a palm tree from the forest, — so strong he was and tall, — he used it 
for a staff to support and guide his steps, and he aided those who were 
about to sink, and the weak he carried on his shoulders across the 
stream ; and by day and by night he was always ready for his task, 
and failed not, and was never wearied of helping those who needed 

So the thing that he did pleased our Lord, who looked down upon 
him out of heaven, and said within himself, ^^ Behold this strong man, 
who knoweth not yet the way to worship me, yet hath found the way 
to serve me 1 " 

Now, when Christopher had spent many days in this toil, it came to 
pass one night, as he rested himself in a hut he had built of boughs, he 



heard a voice which called to him from the shore : it was the plaintive 
voice of a child, and it seemed to say, " Christopher, come forth and 
carry me over I" And he rose foithwith and looked out, but saw 
nothing ; then he lay down again ; but the voice called to him, in the 
same words, a second and a third time ; and the third time he sought 
round about with a lantern ; and at length he beheld a little child sitting 
on the bank, who entreated him, saying, " Christopher, carry me over 
this night'' And Christopher lifted the child on his strong shoulders, 
and took his staff and entered the stream. And the waters rose higher 
and higher, and the waves roared, and the winds blew ; and the infant 
on his shoulders became heavier, and still heavier, till it seemed to him 
that he must sink under the excessive weight, and he began to fear; but 
nevertheless, taking courage, and staying his tottering steps with his 
palm-stafF, he at length reached the opposite bank ; and when he had 
laid the child down, safely and gently, he looked upon him with astonish- 
ment, and he said, '^ Who art thou, child, that hath placed me in such 
extreme peril ? Had I carried the whole world on my shoulders, the 
burthen had not been heavier I " And the child replied, ** Wonder not, 
Christopher, for thou hast not only borne the world, but him who made 
the world, upon thy shoulders. Me wouldst thou serve in this thy 
work of charity ; and, behold, I have accepted thy service : and in tes- 
timony that I have accepted thy service and thee, plant thy staff in the 
ground, and it shall put forth leaves and fruit." Christopher did so, 
and the dry staff flourished as a palm tree in the season, and was covered 
with clusters of dates, — but the miraculous child had vanished. 

Then Christopher fell on his face, and confessed and worshipped 

Leaving that place he came to Samos, a city of Lycia, where he 
found many Christians, who were tortured and persecuted; and he 
encouraged them and cheered them. One of the heathens struck him 
on the face ; but Christopher only looked at him steadfastly, saying, 
** If I were not a Christian, I would be avenged of that blow." The 
king of the country sent soldiers to seize him, and he permitted them 
to bind him and lead him before their master. The king, when he saw 
him, was so terrified by his gigantic stature, that he swooned on his 
throne. When he had recovered, he said, " Who art thou ? " and he 


answered^ ** Formerly I was called Offero, the bearer ; but now my 
name is Christopher, for I have borne Christ." Then the king, whose 
name was Dagnus, ordered him to be carried to prison, and sent two 
women to allure him to sin, knowing that if he could be seduced to sin, 
he would soon be enticed to idolatry. But Christopher stood firm; and 
the women, being terrified and awed, fell down and worshipped Christ, 
and were both put to death. And the tyrant, finding it impossible to 
subdue or to tempt the saint, commanded him to be scourged and tor- 
tured, and then beheaded. And, as they led him to death, he knelt 
down and prayed that those who looked upon him, trusting in God the 
Redeemer, should not suffer from tempest, earthquake, or fire. 

Thus did Christopher display the greatness of his charity, and the 
meekness of his spirit ; thus he sealed his faith with martyrdom ; and 
it was believed that, in consequence of his prayer, those who beheld the 
figure of St- Christopher were exempt during that day from all perils 
of earthquake, fire, and flood. The mere sight of his image, that type 
of strength, was deemed sufficient to inspire with courage those who 
had to struggle with the evils and casualties of life, and to reinvigorate 
those who were exhausted by the labours of husbandry. The following 
is one of the many inscriptions inculcating this belief, and which usually 
accompanied his effigy, — 

** Cliristophori Sancti speciem quicninqae tuetnr 
Bio namque die nollo langaore tenetar." 

Whicb may be rendered, ** Whoever shall behold the image of St. 
Christopher, on that day shall not faint or faiL*^ 

Hence it became a custom to place his image in conspicuous places, 
to paint it of colossal size on the walls of churches and houses, where it 
is sometimes seen occupying the whole height of the building, and is 
visible from a great distance, being considered as a good omen for all 
those who look upon it. A mountain in Granada, which is first seen 
by ships arriving from the African coast, is called San Christobal, in 
allusion to this poetical superstition. 

At Florence, on the fa9ade of the andent church of San Miniato-fra- 
k'Torri, Pollajuolo planted a gigantic figure of St. Christopher, about 



twenty feet in height, which served during many years as a model of 
form to the artists of his school : Michael Angelo, when young, copied 
it several times : it exists no longer. A St Christopher, thirty-two 
feet high, was painted at Seville, by Matteo Perez de Alesio (a. d. 
1584) : and all who have travelled in France, Germany, Italy, particu- 
larly through the south of Germany and the Venetian States, will re- 
member the colossal figures of St. Christopher, on the exterior, or some 
conspicuous part of the interior, of the churches, town haUs, and other 
sacred or public buildings. These effigies were sometimes painted in 
vivid colours, often renewed, in order to render them more distinctly 
visible. On the walls of old English churches, figures of St- Christopher 
were very common. Many of these which had been covered with 
whitewash have been recently uncovered.^ 

Since the very sight of St. Christopher is supposed to bring an 
accession of strength, fortitude, and confidence in the Divine aid, it is 
fortunate that there can be no mistake about it, and that it is so peculiar 
as to be instantly recognised. He stands above the ankles in water ; 
his proportions are those of a Hercules: according to the Greek formula 
he should be beardless, and some of the Italian pictures so represent 
him, or with very little beard ; but the Germans give him a strong 
black beard and a quantity of black bushy hair, the better to express 
the idea of physical strength and manliness. The Infant Christ is 
seated on his shoulders, and bears in his hand the globe as Sovereign 
and Creator of the world ; more rarely it is a cross, as Redeemer ; but 
the former, considering the significance of the subject, is the more 
proper emblem. In general he is looking up to the divine Infant, but 
sometimes also he is looking down and making his way painfully and 
anxiously through the rising waters ; he seems bending under the mira- 
culous burthen, and supports his tottering steps with a staflp, which^i^ 
often an entire palm tree with the leaves and branches. In the back* 
ground is a hermit, bearing a lamp or torch, to light him on his way. 

Such is the religious representation. It is evident that at all times 
the Roman Church, while honouring the name of the martyr, accepted 
the legend as an allegory merely ; and the flood, through which he is 

' There are fonr chnrches still remaiuing dedicated in his name in England. (See Parker*^ 
" Calendar of the Anglican Church," p. 205.) 


110 SL Chrtin^liar. (Albert DUnr, ISll.) 

wading, te, by some, interpreted to signify the Red Sen, that is, the 
waters of baptism ; hy others, the waters of afflictioa (a common 
oriental and scriptural metaphor): he carries Christ, and, with him, 
"the burthen and the weight of all this unintelligible world:" — the 
hermit of religious consolation lights him on his way. The allegory, in 
whatever sense we interpret it, is surely very beautiful : to my fancy 
there is something quite pathetic in these old pictures of St. Chris- 
topher, where the great s!mple*hcarted, good-natured giant, tottering 
under his incomprehensible burthen, looks up with a face of wonder at 
the glorious Child, who smiles encouragement, and gives his benediction 
from above. 

In later times, the artists desecrated this fine subject by employing it 
as a mere tour deforce, a display of manly and muscular form, for which 
the Famese Hercules, or, if that were not at hand, any vulgar porter 


or gondolier, served as a model. Thus the reli^ous sentiment was ob- 
scured or lost, and the whole representation became coarse and common- 
place, when not absolutely grotesque and ridiculous. 

In the figure hy Titian in the Ducal Palace at Venice, the attitude 
and character of the scunt are prcciBely those of a gondolier, — only that 
the palm-tree has been substituted for the oar. 

In the picture by Farinato, a small spirited sketch now at Alton 
Towers, the figure is that of a Hercules, but the expression in the bead 
of the child extremely fine. (HI) 

When St Christopher is introduced standing near the Madonna, or 
grouped with other saints, the water is omitted, but be is never without 
his palm-staff. Where the artist has varied the action or accessaries, 
the figure ceases to be strictly devotional, and becomes fanciful and 


Ill St. ChriUopbR. (FrDin iba mdtni woodeot.) 

dramatic This, however, is so seldom the case, that I know of Teiy 
few examples. 

1. The earliest woodcut which exists, and of which it is possible to 
fix the date, ia a rude figure of St Christopher, of German design and 
execution, represented in the usual manner, except that there is a 
fiwtenniU and a miller in the foreground. It ia inscribed — 

" CriBtoTori facicm Ale quacimqnB tnerit 
tUa. nempe die morte moU non morierii.'' 


Literally, " On whatever day thou shalt behold the face of St Chris- 
topher, surely on that day thou shalt not die an evil death.'' It was 
evidently intended to circulate among the labouring poor, as an emblem 
of strength and consolation, and quite as intelligible then, as Bunyan's 
** Christian in the Slough of Despond" would be now.^ 

2. H. Hemling. St. Christopher, bearing Christ, is wading through 
a deep river, the water rising to his knees. The hermit lights him as 
usual, but in the background the first beams of the sun are just seen 
illuminating the dark waste of waters ; a circumstance beautifully ima- 
gined, and which adds to the significance of the allegory.^ 

3. Elzheimer. St. Christopher as usual wading tiirough the stream ; 
precipitous rocks, and the hermit in the distance : the effect is night 
with a full moon.* 

The following examples must be considered as exceptional 

4. Engraving, — Lucas v. Leyden. St. Christopher seated on the 
ground ; on the other side of the river, Christ beckons to him for aid. 

5. Engraving, — Old German. St. Christopher seated on the bank 
of a river; the Infant Christ is in the act of descending on his 

6. Engraving, — F. Amato. St. Christopher offers his services to the 
Infant Christ, who is seated on the ground. 

7. I have seen an old coarse engraving, in which St. Christopher is 
represented on horseback, — the whim, I suppose, of an ignorant or 
capricious artist. 

8. Engraving. St. Christopher wades through the waters, bearing 
Christ, who has one foot on a large globe, and, instead of the hand ex- 
tended in benediction, he is impatiently urging the saint with a drawn 
sword, which he brandishes over his head. Full of spirit, but a most 
capricious and irreligious version of the subject. 

9. In Van Eyck's wonderful altar-piece, at Ghent, the pilgrims, who 

■ I have given a reduced facsimile in the ** Memoirs of Early Italian Painters,*' which, 
through the kindness of Mr. C Knight, I am able to repeat here. Only two impressions of 
the original are known to exist, — one in the Paris collection, and one in the library of Earl 
Spencer, at Althorp. In the '* Athenaeum" for October 4th, 1845, there is an account oAin 
earlier woodcut, dated 1418, and discovered in the library at Malines, in 1844. 

' Boisseree Gal ' Windsor. 


approach to worship the Lamb of God, are led by the giant Christopher, 
who strides on before the rest, grasping his palm-tree ; his voluminous 
crimson mantle sweeps the ground, and a heathenish turban decks his 
head. This is one of the few instances where he is without his divine 
burthen : the poetry and significance of the allusion will be understood 
at once. 

10. M. Didron tells ns, that in the Greek churches he found St 
Christopher often represented with the head of a dog or wolf, like an 
i^yptian divinity ; he adds, that he had never been able to obtain a 
satisfactory explanation of this peculiarity. These figures, which are 
ancient, have in some instances been blurred over and half effiiced by 
the scruples of modem piety.^ 

The history of St Christopher, as painted in the chapels dedicated to 
him, for instance by Mantegna in the " Eremitani," at Padua, is com- 
prised in three subjects : his passage across the river ; the conversion of 
the heathen at Samos ; and his martyrdom ; the other circumstances of 
his legend being repudiated by the Church : some of them (for instance, 
the meeting with the arch-fiend and his host of demons) would furnish 
most picturesque subjects, but rather in the genre than in the historical 

I have seen only three pictures of his martyrdom separately treated. 

1. The scene is an open court, surrounded with rich architecture; 
the body of the giant-saint lies on the ground ; here he is about twelve 
or fourteen feet in stature, and the severed head, beardless and with 
flowing hair, lies near it ; soldiers and executioners are about to bear 
away the body ; one lifls up the huge leg with both his hands ; many 
others look on with astonishment Most picturesque as a scene, but 
with no attempt at religious feeling or character. 

2. Tintoretto. St. Christopher kneels, and the executioner prepares 

' Yasari relates an amusing anecdote of a patron who insisted on liis painting a fignre of 
St Christopher six pahns in height, within a space which measured only four palms, and de- 
"sired that he would represent the Madonna with the Child on her knees, and hj her side 
St Christopher with another Christ on his shoulders. Yasari, to reconcile difficulties, painted 
the saint kneeling, with one foot in the water, while the Yirgin, bending from the clouds, 
placed her divine Infant on his shoulders. — Vasari, iL 833. (FL edit, 1838.) 


to Strike off his head ; no other figure, except an angel descending : 
here St. Christopher is not represented as of gigantic proportions.^ 

3. Lionello Spada. In this picture the conception is wholly reversed : 
the giant kneels with his hands bound, and looking up with a mild re- 
signation, which contrasts with his vast strength and size ; the execu<- 
tioner, who has raised himself on a step to reach him, prepares to strike 
off his head, while an angel descends from above with the martyr's 
crown. In colour, expression, and simple powerful feeling, perhaps 
Spada's masterpiece ; such, at least, is the opinion of Dr. Waagen.^ 

St. Nicholas of Mtra. 

Lot Sanctus Nicholaus. /to/. San Niccolo, or Nicola di Ban. Ger. Der Heilige NicoUns, 
or Niklas. Patron saint of children, and especially schoolboys; of poor maidens, of 
saQors, of travellers and merchants. Protector against thieyes, and losses bj robbery or 
violence. Chief patron saint of Russia. Patron of Bari, of Venice, of Freiberg, and of 
numerous other towns and cities, particularly of sea-ports and towns engaged in commerce. 
Dec. 6. A.r. 326. 

I PLACE St Nicholas here because, although he wears the parapher- 
nalia of bishop, it is as the powerful and beneficent patron saint, seldom 
as the churchman, that he appears before us ; and of all patron saints 
he is, perhaps, the most universally popular and interesting. While 
knighthood had its St George, serfhood had its St Nicholas, He was 
emphatically the swrit of the people ; the bourgeois saint, invoked by 
the peaceable citizen, by the labourer who toiled for his daily bread, by 
the merchant who traded from shore to shore, by the mariner struggling 
with the stormy ocean. He was the protector of the weak against the 
strong, of the poor against the rich, of the captive, the prisoner, the 
slave ; he was the guardian of young marriageable maidens, of school* 
boys, and especially of the orphan poor. In Bussia, Greece, and 
throughout all Catholic Europe, children are still taught to reverence 
St Nicholas, and to consider themselves as placed under his peculiar 
care: if they are good, docile, and attentive to their studies, St 
Nicholas, on the eve of his festival, will graciously fill their cap or their 

" Venice, S. Maria dell' Orto. • Louvre. (408.) 

8T. KICHOLIS. 451 

stocking with dainties ; while he has, as certainly, a rod in pickle for 
the idle and unruly. 

Effigies of this most benign bishop, with his splendid embroidered 
robes, all glittering with gold and jewels, his mitre, his crosier, and his 
three balls, or his three attendant children, meet us at every turn, and 
can never be regarded but with some kindly association of feeling. No 
saint in the calendar has so many churches, chapels, and altars dedicated 
to him. In England I suppose there is hardly a town without one 
church at least bearing his name. 

It would be in vain to attempt to establish this popular predilection 
and wide-spread fame on any thing like historical evidence. All that 
can be certainly known of him is, that a bishop of this name, venerable 
for his piety and benevolence, was honoured in the East as early as the 
sixth century ; that in the Greek Church he takes rank immediately 
after the great Fathers ; that the Emperor Justinian dedicated to him a 
church in Constantinople about the year 560 ; and that since the tenth 
century he has been known and reverenced in the West, and became 
one of the greatest patron saints of Italy and the northern nations about 
the beginning of the twelfth century. There is no end to the stories 
and legends in which he appears as a chief actor. In this case, as in 
others, I must confine myself to such as have been treated in Art ; and 
it will be necessary, however quaint and absurd some of these may be, 
to go into them in detail — otherwise the numerous representations of his 
life, acts, and miracles will lose half their interest, and more than half 
their significance. 

Nicholas was bom at Panthera, a city of the province of Lycia, in 
Asia Minor. His parents were Christians, and of illustrious birth, and, 
after they had been married for many years, a son was granted them, in 
recompense of the prayers, and tears, and alms that they offered up 
continually. This extraordinary child, on the first day he was bom, 
stood up in his bath with his hands joined in thanksgiving that it had 
pleased God to bring him into the world. He no sooner knew what it 
was to feed than he knew what it was to fast, and every Wednesday 
and Friday he would only take the breast once. As he grew up he 
was distinguished among all other children for his gravity and his 



attention to his studies. His parents, seeing him full of these holy dis- 
positions, thought that they could not do better than dedicate him to the 
service of God ; and accordingly they did so. 

When Nicholas was ordained priest, although he had been before 
remarkable for his sobriety and humility, he became more modest in 
countenance, more grave in speech, more rigorous in self-denial> than 
ever. When he was still a youth his &ther and mother died of the 
plague, and he remained sole heir of their vast riches : but he looked 
upon himself as merely the steward of God's mercies, giving largely to 
all who needed. 

Now in that city there dwelt a certain nobleman who had three 

daughters, and, from being rich^ he became poor, — so poor, that there 

remained no means of obtaining food for his daughters but by sacrificing 

them to an infamous life ; and oftentimes it came into his mind to tell 

them so, but shame and sorrow held him dumb. Meantime the maidens 

wept continually, not knowing what to do, and not having bread to eat ; 

and their father became more and more desperate. When Nicholas 

heard of this, he thought it a shame that such a thing should happen in 

a Christian land ; therefore one night, when the maidens were asleep^ 

and their father alone sat watching and weeping, he took a handful of 

gold, and, tying it up in a handkerchief, he repaired to the dwelling of 

the poor man. He considered how he might bestow it without making 

himself known, and, while he stood irresolute, the moon coming from 

behind a cloud showed him a window open ; so he threw it in, and it 

fell at the feet of the father, who, when he found it, returned thanks^ 

and with it he portioned his eldest daughter. A second time Nicholas 

provided a similar sum, and again he threw it in by night; and with it 

the nobleman married his second daughter. But he greatly desired to 

know who it was that came to his aid; therefore he determined to 

watch, and when the good saint came for the third time, and prepared 

to throw in the third portion, he was discovered, for the nobleman 

seized him by the skirt of his robe, and flung himself at his feet, sayings 

"O Nicholas! servant of Godl why seek to hide thyself?" and he 

kissed his feet and his hands. But Nicholas made him promise that he 

would tell no man. And many other charitable works did Nicholas 

perform in his native city. 


Tht ChutI, 

And ai^r eome years he undertook a voyage to the Holy Land, and 
he embarked on board a ehip ; and there came on a terrible storm, so 
that the ship was nigh to perish. The siulors fell at his feet, and 
besought him to save them; and he rebuked the storm, wliich ceased 


immediately. It happened in the same voyage that one of the s^lors 
fell overboard and was drowned ; but by the prayers of St Nicholas he 
was restored to life. 

On returning from Palestine St Nicholas repaired to the city of 
Myra, where he lived for some time unknown and in great humility. 
And the bishop of that city died. And it was revealed to the clergy 
that the first man who entered the church on the following morning 
was the man chosen by God to succeed as bishop. Nicholas, who was 
accustomed to rise up very early in the morning to pray, appeared 
before the doors of the church at sunrise ; so they laid hold of him, and 
led him into the church, and consecrated him bishop. Having attained 
this dignity, he showed himself worthy of it by the practice of every 
saintly virtue, but more especially by a charity which knew no bounds. 
Some time afterwards the city and the province were desolated by a 
dreadful famine, and Nicholas was told that certain ships laden with 
wheat had arrived in the port of Myra. He went, therefore, and re- 
quired of the captains of these vessels that they should give him out of 
each a hundred hogsheads of wheat for the relief of his people ; but 
they answered, " We dare not do this thing, for the wheat was measured 
at Alexandria, and we must deliver it into the granary of the emperor.*' 
And St Nicholas said, " Do as I have ordered you, for it shall come to 
pass, by the grace of God, that, when ye discharge your cargo, there 
shall be found no diminution." So the men believed him, and when 
they arrived in Constantinople they found exactly the same quantity 
that they had received at Alexandria. In the meantime St Nicholas 
distributed the com to the people according to their wants : and it was 
miraculously multiplied in his hands, so that they had not only enough 
to eat, but sufficient to sow their lands for the following year. 

It was during this famine that St Nicholas performed one of his 
most stupendous miracles. As he was travelling through his diocese to 
visit and comfort his people, he lodged in the house of a certain host 
who was a son of Satan. This man, in the scarcity of provisions, was 
accustomed to steal little children, whom he murdered and served up 
their limbs as meat to his guests. On the arrival of the bishop and his 
retinue, he had the audacity to serve up the dismembered limbs of 
these unhappy children before the man of God, who had no sooner cast 


liis eyes od them than he was aware of the fraud. He reproached the 
host with his abominable crime, and going to the tub where their 
remains were salted down, he made over them the sign of the cross, 
and they rose up whole and welL The people who witnessed this great 
wonder were struck with astonishment (as, indeed, they might well 
be), and the three children, who were the sons of a poor widow, were 
restored to their weeping mother. 

Some time after these events, the Emperor Constantine sent certain 
tribunes of his army to put down a rebellion in Phrygia, They arrived 
at the city of Myra, and the bishop, in order to save his people from 
their exactions and their violence, invited them to his table, and enter- 
tained them honourably. As they were sitting down to the feast it 
was told to St. Nicholas that the prefect of the city had condemned 
three innocent men to death, and that they were about to be executed, 
and that all the city was in commotion because of this wickedness. 

When St Nicholas heard this, he rose hastily, and, followed by his 
guests, ran to the place of execution. And he found the three men 
with their eyes bound, kneeling there, and the executioner stood with 
his sword already bared ; but when St Nicholas arrived, he seized the 
sword and took it out of his hands, and caused the men to be unbound. 
No one dared to resist him, and even the prefect humbled himself 
before him, and entreated forgiveness, which the saint granted not 
without difficulty. The tribunes looking on meanwhile were filled with 
wonder and admiration. When they had received the blessing of the 
good bishop they continued their voyage to Phrygia. 

Now it happened, during their absence from Constantinople, that 
their enemies had turned the mind of the emperor against them, and 
filled him with suspicion. On their return they were accused of treason, 
and thrown into a dungeon, whence they were to be led to death on the 
following day. In their extremity they remembered St Nicholas, and 
cried to him to save them : they did not cry in vain, for God heard 
them out of heaven, and St Nicholas, in the distant land where he 
dwelt, also heard their supplication. And that same night he appeared 
to Constantine in a dream, and commanded him on his peril to release 
these men, threatening him with the anger of Heaven if he disobeyed. 
Constantine immediately pardoned the men, and the next morning he 


sent them to Mjra to thank St Nicholas, and to present to him a copy 
of the Gospels, written in letters of gold, and bound in a cover enriched 
with pearls and precious stones. The fame of this great miracle spread 
far and wide ; and since that time all those who are in any way afflicted 
or distressed, and who stand in great peril of their lives, invoke this 
glorious saint, and find succour at his hands. And thus it happened to 
certain mariners in the ^gean Sea, who, in the midst of a frightful 
tempest, in which they were like to founder, called upon Christ to 
deliver them through the intercession of the blessed St. Nicholas, who 
thereupon appeared to them and said, " Lo, here I am, my sons I put 
your trust in God, whose servant I am, and ye shall be saved." And 
immediately the sea became calm, and he conducted the vessel into a 
safe harbour. Wherefore those who peril their lives on the great deep 
do also invoke St. Nicholas; and all harbours of refuge, and many 
chapels and altars on the sea-coast, are dedicated to him. 

Many other great and good actions did St. Nicholas perform ; but at 
length he died, yielding up his soul to God with great joy and thankful- 
ness, on the sixth day of December in the year of our Lord 326, and 
he was buried in a magnificent church which was in the city of Myra. 

It is related that St Nicholas was summoned to the council of Nice 
in the year 325, and that, in his zeal, he smote Arius on the face ; but 
there are many who do not believe this, seeing that the name of 
Nicholas of Myra does not appear among the bishops cited on that 

The miracles which St Nicholas performed after hb death were not 
less wonderful than those which he had performed during his lifetime, 
and for hundreds of years pilgrims from all parts of the East resorted 
to his tomb. In the year 807, Achmet, who commanded the fleet of 
Haroun Alraschid, attacked the sanctuary, intending to demolish it ; 
but he was deceived by the vigilance of the monks, and, putting to sea 
again, he was destroyed with his whole fleet as a punishment for this 
great sacrilege. After this event the body of St Nicholas rested in 
his tomb for the space of 280 years ; various attempts were made to 
carry it off, many cities and churches aspiring to the possession of so 
great a treasure. At length, in 1084, certain merchants of Ban, a city 


on the coast of Italy opposite to Ragusa, resolved to accomplish this 
great enterprise. In their trading voyages to the coast of Syria, they 
had heard of the miracles of St. Nicholas, and, in their pious enthusiasm, 
resolved to enrich their country with the possession of these wonder- 
working relics. They landed at Myra, where they found the country 
desolated by the Saracens, the church in ruins, and the tomb guarded 
only by three monks. They had no difficulty in taking away die holy 
remains, which were received in the city of Bari with every demonstra- 
tion of joy ; and a magnificent church was built over them, which was 
dedicated by Pope Urban IL From this period the veneration for St. 
Nicholas extended over the West of Europe. It is proper to add, that 
the Venetians affirm that they have the true body of St. Nicholas, 
carried off from Myra by Venetian merchants in the year 11 00. The 
pretensions, however, of the city of Bari are those generally acknow- 
ledged, and thence the saint has obtfdned the name, by which he is 
best known, of SL Nicholas de Baru^ 

Devotional figures of St. Nicholas exhibit him as standing in the 
habit of a bishop. In the Greek pictures he is dressed as a Greek 
bishop, without the mitre, bearing the cross instead of the crosier, and 
on his cope embroidered the three Persons of the Trinity^: but in 
Western Art his episcopal habit is that of the Western Church ; he 
wears the mitre, the cope, in general gorgeously ornamented, the 
jewelled gloves, and the crosier. He has sometimes a short grey beard ; 
sometimes he is beardless, in allusion to his youth when elected bbhop. 
His proper attribute, the three balls, may be variously interpreted ; but 
in general they are understood to signify the three purses of gold, which 
he threw into the poor man's window. Some say they represent three 
loaves of bread, and allude to his feeding the poor during the famine ; 
and others, again, interpret them into a general allusion to the Trinity. 
The first is, however, the most popular interpretation. These balls are 
sometimes placed upon his book, as in the iUustration ; sometimes at his 

' As Patron of seamen, St Nicholas is especiall/ popular in seaport towns. About 376 
chnrcfaes in England are dedicated in his honour. 

' Figures and heads of St. Nicholas are especially frequent in the Greek devotional 
pictures, as he is the greatest, or, at least, the most popular, saint of the Greek Church. 


114 gt,Nldiolu. (BoUltdlJ. OpIIDl, RoBif.) 

feet ; and sometimes in his lap, as in a miniature engraved in Dibdin'e 
"Decameron," where he ie throned, and gives his benediction as patron. 
I have also seen them converted into an ornament for his crosier, when 
they could not conveniently be placed elsewhere, as in a picture by 
Bartolo Senese. Occasionally, instead of the three balls, there are three 
purses full of gold, which express more distinctly the allusion to his 
famous act of charity, as in a statue in his church at Foligno.' An- 

■ In this instant the three pareea are Uid on hU booL In n piclare b; Angclico *t 
Pvrugia, the three panes lie at hU fe«t : I saw an clching from this picture in the 
oftbc Chevalier Bunsen. 


other, and also a very frequent attribute, allades to the tairacle of the 
three children. They are represented in a tub or a vase, looking up to 
him with joined hands. 


I presume this story of the children to have been, in its primitive 
form, one of those religious allegories which express the conversion of 
sinners or unbelievers. I am the more inclined to this opinion, because 
I have seen pictures in which the wicked host is a manifest demon with 
hoofs and claws ; and the tub, which contains the three children, has 
the form of a baptismal font. 

As patron of seamen, St. Nicholas has often an anchor at his side, or 
a ship is seen in the background, as in a picture by Paul Veronese. 

In consequence of his popularity as Patron and Protector, St. 
Nicholas frequently appears as an attendant on the enthroned Madonna 
and Child.* The most beautiful example I can refer to is Raphael's 
" Madonna dei Ansidei " at Blenheim, where the benign and pensive 
dignity of St. Nicholas, holding the gospel open in his hand, rivals in 
characteristic expression the refined loveliness of the Virgin and her 
Son. We may imagine him reading aloud from his book some divine 
precept of charity, as, " Love your enemies ; do good to them that hate 
you : " it seems reflected in his face.* 

I think it imnecessary to particularise further the devotional pictures 
in which St. Nicholas figures alone (or, which is much more frequent, 
grouped with other saints), because he is in general easily discriminated, 
— the three balls, on his book or at his feet, being the most frequent 
attribute, and one which belongs to no other saint. As patron saint of 
children, a child is sometimes kissing his hand or the hem of his garment. 
I recollect, in a picture by Bonvicino, at Brescia, an application of the 
religious character of this saint to portraiture and common life, which 
appears to me highly beautiful and poetical. St Nicholas is presenting 
to the Virgin two orphans, while she looks down upon them from her 
throne with a benign air, pointing them out to the notice of the Infant 
Saviour, who is seated in her lap. The two boys, orphans of the noble 
family of Roncaglia, are richly dressed : one holds the mitre of the good 
bishop ; the other, the three balls. 

* See Legends of the Madonna, p. 98. 

^ Of this celebrated picture, an engraving of wonderful beauty has lately been published by 
Louis Gruner. In the expression of the heads, the softness of the modelling in the flesh, and 
in the power and elegance of the drawing and execution, he has in this fine print equalled the 
greatest masters in his art. 


Separate scenes from his life do not often occur ; in general we haYe 
two, three, or more together. The favourite subject, in a detached 
form, is that which is properly styled ** The Charity of St. Nicholas." 
The leading idea does not vary. In one part of the composition the 
three maidens are represented as asleep; their father watching near 
them. Nicholas is seen outside in the act of throwing a purse (or, in 
some cases, a ball of ^Id) in at the window : he is young, and in a 
secular dress. There is an engraving, after a composition by Parmi- 
giano, which can hardly be excelled for delicacy and grace : the figures 
and attitudes of the daughters are most elegant. In a series of the 
actions of St. Nicholas, whether it consists of many or few subjects, this 
beautiful incident is never omitted. As a Greek series we have gene- 
rally two or three or more of the following subjects. Sometimes the 
selection of scenes is from his life ; sometimes from the miracles per- 
formed after his death, or after his translation from the coast of Syria 
to the coast of Italy ; or both are combined. 

1. His infant piety. The scene is the interior of a room, where his 
mother is seen in bed ; in the foreground, attendants are busied round 
the new-bom saint, who, with a glory round his head, stands upright 
in his bath, his hands joined in prayer, and his eyes raised to heaven. 

2. He stands, as a boy of about twelve years old, listening to the 
words of a preacher, who points him out to his congregation a^ the 
future saint. 

3. His charity to the three poor girls : they are seen through a door, 
asleep in an inner chamber ; the father sits in front ; outside the house, 
the saint stands on tiptoe, and is throwing the purse in at the win- 
dow. (113) 

(In a small picture which I have seen, but cannot recollect the 
painter, two of the maidens are reposing, but the third is taking off her 
father's boot; he sits as one overpowered with sorrow and fatigue : the 
saint is outside looking in at the window. This is an unusual version ; 
and seems to express, not the act of charity, but the previous moment, 
and the filial attention of the daughters to their poor father.) 

4. The consecration of St Nicholas as Bishop of Myra. We have 
this subject, by Paul Veronese, in our National Gallery. 

K 2 


5. The Famine at Myra. A sea-port with ships in the distance ; in 
Aront a number of sacks of com^ and men employed in measuring it out, 
or carrying it away ; St. Nicholas in his episcopal robes stands by, as 
directing the whole, 

6. The Stoiln at Sea« Seamen on board a sinking vessel; St. 
Nicholas appears as a vision above; in one hand he holds a lighted 
taper, with the other he appears to direct the codrse of the vesseL 

(In a Greek series of the life of St Nicholas, the subject which 
follows here is the Council of Nice. A number of bishops are seated 
in a semicircle ; Constantine, with crown and sceptre, presides ; in front, 
Nicholas is in the act of giving Arius the memorable box on the can 
This incident I do not remember to have seen in Western Art) 

7. Three men are seen bound, with guards, &c., and an executioner 
raises his sword to strike. St Nicholas (he is sometimes hovering in 
the air) stays the hand of the executioner. 

8. The miracle of the three boys restored to life, when treated as an 
incident, and not a devotional representatipn, is given in a variety of 
ways : the mangled limbs are spread on a table, or underneath a board ; 
the wicked host is on his knees ; or he is endeavouring to escape ; or 
the three boys, already made whole, are in an attitude of adoration 
before their benefactor. (115) 

0. The death of St. Nicholas, and angels bear his soul to heaven. 

10. When the series is complete, the translation of the body and its 
reception at Bari are included. 

The miracles, or rather the parables, which follow are to be found 
in the chapel of St Nicholas at Assisi, on the windows of the cathe- 
drals at Chartres and Bourges, and in the ancient Gothic sculpture* 
As they were evidently fabricated after the translation of his relics, they 
are not likely to occur in genuine Byzantine Art. 

1. A certain Jew of Calabria, hearing of the great miracles performed 
by St Nicholas, stole his image out of a church, and placed it in his 
house. When he went out, he left under the care of the saint all his 
goods and treasures, threatening him (like an irreverent pagan as he 
was) that if he did not keep good watch he would chastise him. On a 
certain day, the Jew went out, and robbers came and carried off all his 


treasures. When the Jew returned he reproached St. Nicholas^ and 
beat the sacred image and hacked it cruelly. The same night St 
Nicholas appeared to the robbers^ all bleeding and mutilated^ and com- 
manded them immediately to restore what they had taken. They^ 
being terrified by the vision, repaired to the Jew, and gave up every 
thing. And the Jew, being astonished at this miracle, was baptized, 
and became a true Christian. 

This story is represented on one of the windows of the Cathedral at 
Chartres, and here St Nicholas figures as the guardian of property. 

2. A certain man, who was very desirous of having an heir to his 
estate, vowed that if his prayer were granted, the first time he took his 
son to church he would offer a cup of gold on the altar of St Nicholas. 
A son was granted, and the father ordered the cup of gold to be pre- 
pared ; but when it was finished, it was so wonderfully beautiful, that 
he resolved to keep the cup for himself, and caused another of less value 
to be made for the saint After some time the man went on a journey 
to accomplish his vow ; and being on the way, he ordered his little son 
to bring him water in the golden cup he had appropriated, but, in doing 
so, the child fell into the water and was drowned. Then the unhappy 
father lamented himself, and wept and repented of his great sin ; and, 
repairing to the church of St Nicholas, he offered up the silver cup : 
but it fell from the altar ; and a second and a third time it fell ; and 
while they all looked on astonished, behold ! the drowned boy appeared 
before them, and stood on the steps of the altar bearing the golden cup 
in his hand. He related how the good St Nicholas had preserved 
him alive, and brought him there. The father, full of gratitude, 
offered up both the cups, and returned home with his son in joy and 

Of this story there are many versions in prose and rhyme, and I have 
frequently seen it in sculpture, painting, and in the old stained glass ; it 
is on one of the windows of the Cathedral of Bourges : in a bas-relief 
engraved in Cicognara's work ^ the child, with the golden cup in his 
hand, is falling into the sea. 

3. A rich merchant, who dwelt on the borders of a heathen country, 
but was himself a Christian, and a devout worshipper of St Nicholas, 

^ Storia della Scultura moderaa. 


had an only son ; and it happened that the youth was taken captive by 
the heathens, and, being sold as a slave, he served the king of that 
country as cupbearer. One day, as he filled the cup at table, he re- 
membered suddenly that it was the feast of St Nicholas, and he wept. 
The king said, " Why weepest thou, that thy tears fall and mingle in 
my cup ? ** And the boy told him, saying, ** This is the day when my 
parents and my kindred are met together in great joy to honour our 
good St. Nicholas ; and I, alas I am far from them I " Then the king^ 
most like a pagan blasphemer, answered, *^ Great as is thy St Nicholas^ 
he cannot save thee from my hand ! " No sooner had he spoken the 
words, than a whirlwind shook the palace, and St Nicholas, appearing 
in the midst^ caught up the youth by the hair, and placed him, still 
holding the royal cup in his hand, suddenly before his family, at the 
very moment when his father had distributed the banquet to the poor, 
and was beseeching their prayers in behalf of his captive son. 

Of this story also there are innumerable versions ; and as a boy with 
a cup in his hand figures in both stories, it is necessary to distinguish 
the circumstances and accessaries : sometimes it is a daughter, not a son^ 
who is delivered from captivity. In a fresco by Giottino at Assisi, the 
family are seated at table, and the captive, conducted by St Nicholas^ 
appears before them: the mother stretches out her arms, the father 
claspfi his hands in thanksgiving, and a little dog recognises the restored 

I have observed that St. Nicholas of Bari and St Julian of Rimini 
are often found in the same group, as joint protectors of the eastern 
coast of Italy and all the commercial cities bordering the shore of the 
Adriatic, from Venice to Tarento. * There is a conspicuous example in 
the Louvre, in a beautiful picture by Lorenzo di Credi (No. 177.). 
Another, an exquisite little Coronation of the Virgin, was in the col- 
lection of Mr. Rogers.^ 

I must now take leave of the good St. Nicholas. So widely diffused 
and of such long standing is his fame, that a collection of his effigies 

' See Legends of the Madonna, p. 24. 


and the subjects from his legend would comprise a history of art, of 
morab, of manners^ of costume, for the last thousand years. I have 
said enough to lead the fancy of the reader in this direction : other and 
brighter forms beckon us forwards* 

€f)t Within ^atroiwflfsJesf^ 

St. Catherine. St. Barbara. St. Margaret. St. Ursula. 

We owe to these beautiful and glorious impersonations of feminine in^^ 
tellect, heroism, purity, fortitude, and faith, some of the most excelling 
works of art which have been handed down to us. Other female 
martyrs were merely women glorified in heaven, for virtues exercised 
on earth ; but these were absolutely, in all but the name, Divinities. 
With regard to the others, even the most apocryphal among them, we 
can still recognise some indications, however vague, however disguised, 
that they had been at one time or another substantial beings ; but with 
regard to these, all such traces of an individual existence seem to have 
been completely merged in the abstract ideas they represented. The 
worship of the others was confined to certain localities, certain occa- 
sions ; but these were invoked every where, and at all seasons : they 
were powers, difiering indeed from the sensuous divinities of ancient 
Greece, inasmuch as the moral attributes were infinitely higher and 
purer, but representing them in their superhuman might and majesty ; 
and though the Church assumed that theirs was a delegated power, it 
was never so considered by the people. They were styled intercessors ; 
but when a man addressed his prayers to St Catherine to obtain a boon, 
it was with the full conviction that she had power to grant it. 

I am not now speaking of the faith of the enlightened and reflecting 
Roman Catholics on such subjects, but of the feelings which existed, 
and still exist, among the lower classes in Catholic countries, particu- 


larly Italy, respecting these poetical beings of whom I am How to 

Their wholly ideal character, the tacit setting aside of all human tes- 
timony with reference to their real or unreal existence, instead of 
weakening their influence, invested them with a divine glory, and kept 
alive the enthusiasm inspired by the dignified and graceful forms in 
which they stand embodied before us. I know that there are excellent 
and conscientious persons who for this very reason look upon the 
pictures and effigies of St Catherine and St Barbara with an especial 
dislike, a terror in which there is a sort of fascination. I wish that 
what 1 am about to write may quiet their minds on the subject of these 
** mythic fancies : " they will see how impossible it is that these alle- 
g6ries (which by simplicity and ignorance were long accepted as facts) 
should ever hereafter be received but as one form of poetry ; and that 
under this aspect they cannot die, and ought not 

If those who consider works of art would be content to regard them 
thus, — not merely as pretty pictures, nor yet as repudiated idols, but 
as lovely allegories to which the world listened in its dreamy childhood, 
and which, like the ballad or the fairy tale which kept the sleep from 
our eyes and our breath suspended in infancy, have still a charm for our 
latest years ; — if they would not be afraid of attaching a meaning to 
them, but consider what we may be permitted, unreproved, to seek and 
to find in them, both in sense and sentiment, — how many pleasures and 
associations would be revealed in every picture, in every group or 
figure, which is now passed over either with indifference or repugnance 1 
Can they believe there is danger that any rational being should fall 
back into a second childhood of credulity ? Let them now judge. I 
begin with that Gloriosusima Vergine^ St Catherine. 


St. Cathehine of Alexandria, Viugin and Martyr. 

Gr. AiiateriiUi/rQiiiiraJapii, pare,DnileSled. LaU Santa Caiharina. ItaL Santa Catarioft dei 
StDdientL Santa Catarina delle Ruot« (or of thi akuU. to ditliKyuith her from fiat olAer 
lamtt of the Mac name.) Fr. Madame Saincto Catherine. Spa. Santa CMalina. Ctr. 
Die Heilige KalhariDS von Alexandrien. FativineM of edaeaCion. philosophj, science i of 
Madenti, pbilosophen. and iheologiwls. Palroneu of schools and colleges. As patroness 
ofdoqaence she was invoked in all disease* of the tongue. Perhaps from her rojal dignity, 
m faTonrile patron saint of princesses and ladieB of noble birth. Patroness of Venice. 
Sot. 35. a.i>. 307. 

The legend of St. Catherine is not of high antiquity : even among the 
Greeks, it cannot be traced further back than the eighth century ; ami 
in the East it appears to have originated with the monks of Mount 
SinaL In a literary form, we find it first in the Greek Mcnology of 
the Emperor Basil in tlie ninth century. The crusaders of the eleventh 
century brought it from the East; and in gratitude for the aid and 
protection which this "InvillUsima Eririna " wns supposed to have ex- 
tended to the Christian warriors in the Holy Land, her Greek name, 
her romantic, captivating legend, and her worship as one of the most 
potent of s^nts, spread with such extraordinary rapidity over the whole 
of Western Chrislendom, that in the twelfth century it was all but 
universal. About the fifteenth century, some reasonable doubts having 



been cast, not only on the authenticity of her legend, but on her very 
existence, vain attempts were made to banish her from the calendar ; 
her festival, after being one of the most solemn in the Church, was, by 
several prelates of France and Germany, suppressed altogether, and by 
others left free from all religious obligations : but in Art, and in the 
popular veneration, St. Catherine kept her ground. Even in the 
English reformed calendar she retains her place; even in London, 
churches and parishes, and institutions, once placed under her protection, 
still retain her name.* 

Of all the female saints, next to Mary Magdalene, St. Catherine is 
the most popular: venerated by the men as the divine patroness of 
learning ; and by the women regarded as the type of female intellect 
and eloquence, as well as of courageous piety and chastity. She is the 
inspirer of wisdom and good counsel in time of need, — the Minerva of 
the heathens, softened and refined by the attributes of the Christian 
martyr. The scenes taken from her life and " acts " are so diversified, 
and of such perpetual recurrence, that I shall give the legend here with 
all its details of circumstance, only omitting the long speeches, and 
passing over without farther remark that brave defiance of all historical 
probabilities which sets criticism at nought. 

Constantius Chlorus, the father of Constantine the Great, had a first 
wife before he married the Empress Helena. She died in giving birth 
to a son, whose name was Costis, and whom his father married to the 
only daughter and heiress of the King of Egypt, a virtuous princess, 
whose name was Sabinella; with her he lived and reigned in great 
prosperity and happiness for several years, but after the law of the 
Pagans, for they were, unhappily, idolaters. 

Like all mothers who bring forth saints. Queen Sabinella had a pro- 
phetic dream, in which was prefigured the glory of her first-bom. In 
due time she gave birth to a daughter, who was named Catherine. At 
the moment she came into the world a glory of light was seen to play 
around her head. From her earliest infancy she was the wonder of all 
who beheld her, for grace of mind and person. " She drank so plen- 

' There are churches in Eogland dedicated in her name. 


teously from the well of wisdom," that at the age of fifteen there was 
none comparable to her in the learning and philosophy of the Gentiles. 
She could have '^ talked of stars and firmaments and firedrakes/' of 
^^ sines and co-sines and fixed ratios," — she could have answered all 
those hard things which the Queen of Sheba propounded to King 
Solomon* The works of Plato were her favourite study ; and the 
teaching of Socrates had prepared her to receive a higher and a purer 

The king her father, who loved her, ordained to wait upon her seven 
of the wisest masters that could be gotten together ; but Catherine, 
divinely endowed, so far excelled them all, that they who came to teach 
her, became her disciples. Moreover, he ordained for her a tower in 
his palace, with divers chambers furnished with all kinds of mathematical 
instruments, in which she might study at pleasure. 

When Catherine was about fourteen, her father. King Costis, died, 
and left her heiress of his kingdom. But when she was queen, Cathe^ 
rine showed the same contempt for all worldly care and royal splendour 
that she had hitherto exhibited, for she shut herself up in her palace, 
and devoted herself to the study of philosophy. 

*' Therefore," says the old English legend, ** when the people saw 
this, they were discontented. And the nobles of that country came to 
their lady and queen, and desired her to call a parliament. And the 
estates being met, they besought her, as she was so much given to study 
and learning, that she would be pleased to take a husband who should 
assist her in the government of the country, and lead them forth to 

** When she heard this, she was much abashed and troubled. And 
she said, ' What manner of man is this that I must marry ? ' ^ Madam,' 
said the speaker, * you are our most sovereign lady and queen, and it is 
well known to all that ye possess four notable gifts : the first is, that 
ye be come of the most noble blood in tlie whole world ; the second, 
that ye be a great inheritor, and the greatest that liveth of women to 
our knowledge ; the third, that ye, in science, cunning, and wisdom, 
surpass all others ; and the fourth, that in bodily shape and beauty 

L 2 


there is none like you: wherefore we beseech ye. Lady, that these good 
gifts, in which the great God hath endowed you beyond all creatures 
else, may move you to take a lord to your husband, to the end that ye 
may have an heir, to the comfort and joy of your people.' 

'^ * Then,' answered the young Queen Catherine, with a grave coun- 
tenance ; * if God and nature have wrought so great virtues in us, we 
are so much the more bound to love him, and to please him, and to 
think humbly of all his great gifts ; therefore, my lords and lieges, give 
heed to my words. He that shall be my husband and the lord of mine 
heart shall also possess four notable gifts, and be so endowed that all 
creatures shall have need of him, and he shall have need of none. He 
shall be of so noble blood that all men shall worship him, and so great 
that I shall never think that I have made him king ; so rich, that he 
shall pass all others in riches ; so full of beauty, that the angels of God 
shall desire to behold him ; and so benign, that he can gladly forgive 
all offences done unto him. And if ye find me such an one, I will take 
him for my husband and the lord of my heart' 

" With this she cast down her eyes meekly, and held her stilL And 
all her lords and princes and councillors looked upon each other and 
knew not what to reply ; for they said, ^ Such a one as she hath 
devised there never was none, and never shall be ; ' and they saw there 
was no remedy in the matter. Her mother Sabinella also intreated her, 
saying, * Alas, my daughter, where shall ye find such a husband?' and 
Catherine answered, * If I do not find him, he shall find me, for other 
will I none;' — and she had a great conflict and battle to keep her 

" Now there was a certain holy hermit who dwelt in a desert about 
two days' journey from the city of Alexandria ; to him the Virgin Mary 
appeared out of heaven, and sent him with a message of comfort to the 
young Queen Catherine, to tell her that the husband whom she had 
desired was her Son, who was greater than any monarch of this world, 
being himself the King of Glory, and the Lord of all power and might 
Catherine desired to behold her future bridegroom. The Hermit there- 
fore gave her a picture representing the Virgin Mary and her divine 
Son ; and when Catherine beheld the heavenly face of the Redeemer of 
the world, her heart was filled with love of his beauty and innocence : 


she forgot her books, her spheres, and her philosophers ; — Plato and 
Socrates became to her tedious as a twice-told tale. She placed tho 
picture in her study, and that night as she slept upon her bed she had a 

" In her dream she journeyed by the side of the old hermit, who con- 
ducted her towards a sanctuary on the top of a high mountain ; and 
when they reached the portal, there came out to meet them a glorious 
company of angels clothed in white, and wearing chaplets of white lilies 
on their heads ; and Catherine, being dazzled, fell on her face, and an 
angel said to her, ^ Stand up, our dear sister Catherine, and be right 
welcome.' Then they led her to an inner court, where stood a second 
company of angels clothed in purple, and wearing chaplets of red roses 
on their heads ; and Catherine fell down before them, but they said, 
* Stand up, our dear sister Catherine, for thee hath the King of Glory 
delighted to honour.' Then Catherine, with a trembling joy, stood up 
and followed them. They led her on to an inner chamber in which 
was a royal queen standing in her state, whose beauty and msgesty 
might no heart think, nor pen of man describe, and around her a glo- 
rious company of angels, saints, and martyrs : they, taking Catherine by 
the hand, presented her to the queen, saying, * Our most gracious 
sovereign Lady, Empress of Heaven, and Mother of the King of 
Blessedness, be pleased that we here present to you our dear sister, 
whose name is written in the book of life, beseeching you of your benign 
grace to receive her as your daughter and handmaiden. 

" Our Blessed Lady, full of all grace and goodness, bid her welcome, 
and, taking her by the hand, led her to our Lord, saying to him, ^ Most 
sovereign honour, joy, and glory be to you. King of Blessedness, my 
Lord and my Son I Lo I I have brought into your blessed presence 
your servant and maid Catherine, which for your love hath renounced 
all earthly things 1 ' But the Lord turned away his head, and refused 
her, saying, * She is not fair nor beautiful enough for me.' The maiden, 
hearing these words, awoke in a passion of grief, and wept till it was 


** Then she called to her the hermit, and fell at his feet, and declared 
her vision, saying, * What shall I do to become worthy of my celestial 
bridegroom?' The hermit, seeing she was still in the darkness of 


heathenism, instructed her AiUy in the Christian faith : then he baptized 
her^ and, with her, her mother Sabinella. 

" That night, as Catherine slept upon her bed, the blessed Virgin 
appeared to her again, accompanied by her divine Son, and with them a 
noble company of saints and angels. And Mary again presented 
Catherine to the Lord of Glory, saying, * Lo I she hath been baptized, 
and I myself have been her godmother !' Then the Lord smiled upon 
her, and held out his hand and plighted his troth to her, putting a ring 
on her finger. When Catherine awoke, remembering her dream, she 
looked and saw the ring upon her finger ; and henceforth, regarding 
herself as the betrothed of Christ, she despised the world, and all the 
pomp of earthly sovereignty, thinking only of the day which shoidd 
reunite her with her celestial and espoused Lord. Thus she dwelt in 
her palace in Alexandria, until the good queen Sabinella died, and she 
was left alone.'* 

At this time the tyrant Maximin, who is called by the Greeks 
Maxentius, greatly persecuted the Church, and, being come to Alex- 
andria, he gathered all the Christians together, and commanded them, 
on pain of severest torments, to worship the heathen gods. St Cathe- 
rine, hearing in the recesses of her palace the cries of the people, sallied 
forth and confronted the tyrant on the steps of the temple, pleading for 
her fellow -Christians, and demonstrating " avec force syllogismes *' the 
truth of the Christian and the falsehood of the Pagan religion. And 
when she had argued for a long time after the manner of the philo- 
sophers, quoting Plato and Socrates, and the books of the Sibyls, she 
looked round upon Maximin and the priests, and said, ^^ Ye admire this 
temple, the work of human hands ; these fair ornaments and precious 
gems, these statues, that look as if they could move and breathe : admire 
rather the temple of the universe— the heavens, the earth, the sea, and 
all that is therein : admire rather the course of those eternal stars, which 
from the beginning of all creation have pursued their course towards 
the west and returned to us in the east, and never pause for rest. And 
when ye have admired these things, consider the greatness of Him who 
made them, who is the great God, even the God of the Christians, unto 
whom these thy idols are less than the dust of the earth. Miserable are 


those i^ho place their faith where they can neither find help in the 
moment of danger, nor comfort in the hour of tribulation I ''^ 

Maximin being confounded by her arguments, and yet more by her 
eloquence, which left him without reply, ordered that fifty of the most 
learned philosophers and rhetoricians should be collected from all parts 
of his empire, and promised them exceeding great rewards if they over- 
came the Christian princess in argument. These philosophers were at 
first indignant at being assembled for such a futile purpose, esteeming 
nothing so easy ; and they said, ** Place her, O Caesar ! before us, that 
her folly and rashness may be exposed to all the people." But Cathe- 
rine, nowise afraid^ recommended herself to God, praying that he would 
not allow the cause of truth to suffer through her feebleness and 
insufficiency. And she disputed with all these orators and sages, 
quoting against them the Law and the Prophets, the works of Plato 
and the books of the Sibyls, until they were utterly confounded, one after 
another, and struck dumb by her superior learning. In the end they 
confessed themselves vanquished and converted to the faith of Christ, 
The emperor, enraged, ordered them to be consumed by fire ; and they 
went to death willingly, only regretting that they had not been bap-* 
tized ; but Catherine said to them, ** Go, be of good courage, for your 
blood shall be accounted to you as baptism, and the flames as a crown 
of glory." And she did not cease to exhort and comfort them, till they 
had all perished in the flames. 

Then Maximin ordered that she should be dragged to his palace ; 
and, being inflamed by her beauty, he endeavoured to corrupt her 
virtue, but she rejected his offers with scorn ; and being obliged at this 
time to depart on a warlike expedition, he ordered his creature, Por- 
phyry (called in the French legend " Le Chevalier iPorphire "), to cast 
her into a dungeon, and starve her to death ; but Catherine prayed to 
her heavenly bridegroom, and the angels descended and ministered to 
her. And at the end of twelve days the empress and Porphyry visited 
the dungeon, which, as they opened the door, appeared all filled with 
fragrance and lights Whereupon they fell down at the feet of St. 

^ ** The heaven indeed is high ; the earth is great ; the sea immense ; the stars are 
heaotifnl : bnt He who made ail these things must needs be greater and more beamiful." — 
Sermon of St Ehy, 


Catherine, and with two hundred of their attendants declared them- 
selves Christians. 

When Maximin returned to Alexandria, he was seized with fury. 
He commanded his wife, the empress, with Porphyry and the other 
converts, to be put to a cruel death ; but being more than ever inflamed 
by the beauty and wisdom of Catherine, he offered to make her his 
empress, and mistress of the whole world, if she would repudiate the 
name of Christ But she replied with scorn, " Shall I forsake my 
glorious heavenly spouse to unite myself with thee, who art base-bom, 
wicked, and deformed?" On hearing these words, Maximin roared 
like a lion in his wrath ; and he commanded that they should construct 
four wheels, armed with sharp points and blades — two revolving in 
one direction, two in another — so that between them her tender body 
should be torn into ten thousand pieces. And St. Catherine made her- 
self ready to go to this cruel death ; and as she went, she prayed that 
the fearful instrument of torment prepared for her might be turned to 
the glory of God. So they bound her between the wheels, and, at the 
same moment, fire came down from heaven, sent by the destroying 
angel of God, who broke the wheels in pieces, and, by the fragments 
which flew around, the executioners and three thousand people perished 
in that day. 

Yet for all this the thrice-hardened tyrant repented not, but ordered 
that Catherine should be carried outside the city, and there, after being 
scourged with rods, beheaded by the sword : — which was done. And 
when she .was dead, angels took up her body, and carried it over the 
desert, and over the Red Sea, till they deposited it on the summit of 
Mount Sinai. There it rested in a marble sarcophagus, and in the 
eighth century a monastery was built over her remains, which are 
revered to this day : but the wicked tyrant, Maximin, being overcome 
in battle, was slain, and the beasts and birds devoured him; or, as 
others relate, an inward fire consumed him till he died. 

In this romantic legend what a storehouse of picturesque incident ! 
— And, accordingly, we find that poets and painters have equally 
availed themselves of it As ballad, as drama, as romance, it circulated 
among the people, and lent an interest to the gracious and familiar 


effigies which everywhere abound. In England St Catherine was 
especially popular. About the 1119, Geoffrey, a learned Norman, was 
invited from the University of Paris to superintend the direction of the 
schools of the Abbey of Dunstable, where he composed a play entitled 
" SL Catherine," and caused it to be acted by his scholars. This was, 
perhaps, the first spectacle of the kind that was ever attempted, and the 
first trace of theatrical representation that ever appeared in England. 
Dryden's tragedy of " Tyrannic Love " is founded on the legend of St. 
Catherine, and was intended to gratify the queen, Catherine of Bra- 
ganza, by setting forth the glory of her patron saint. 

In the original oriental legend the locality assigned for the story of 
St, Catherine was at least well chosen, and with a view to probability. 
Alexandria, famous for its philosophical and theological schools, pro- 
duced, not one, but many women, who, under the tuition of Origen and 
other famous teachers, united the study of Greek literature with that of 
the Prophets and Evangelists ; some of them also suffered in the cause 
of Christianity. But it is a curious fact connected with the history of 
St. Catherine, that the real martyr, the only one of whom there is any 
certain record, was not a Christian, but a Heathen; and that her 
oppressors were not Pagan tyrants, but Christian fanatics. 

Hypatia of Alexandria, daughter of Theon, a celebrated mathema- 
tician, had applied herself from childhood to the study of philosophy 
and science, and with such success, that, while still a young woman, 
she was invited by the magistrates to preside over one of the principal 
schools in the city. She, like St Catherine, was particularly addicted 
to the study of Plato, whom she preferred to Aristotle. She was also 
profoundly versed in the works of Euclid, and ApoUonius of Pergamus ; 
and composed a treatise on Conic Sections, and other scientific works. 
She was remarkable, also, for her beauty, her contempt for feminine 
vanities, and the unblemished purity of her conduct As, however, she 
resolutely refused to declare herself a Christian, and was on terms of 
friendship with Orestes, the Pagan governor of Alexandria, she was 
marked out by the Christian populace as an object of vengeance. One 
day, as she was proceeding to lecture in her school, a party of these 
wretched fanatics dragged her out of her chariot into a neighbouring 



church, and murdered her there with circumstances of revolting 

I think it very probable that the traditions relating to her death were 
mixed up with the legend of St. Catherine, and took that particular 
character and colouring which belonged to the Greco-Christian legends 
of that time.* 

The devotional representations of St. Catherine must be divided into 
two classes. I. Those which exhibit her as the patron saint and martyr, 
alone or grouped with others. II. The mystical subject called " The 
Marriage of St Catherine." 

I. As patroness she has several attributes. She bears the palm as 
martyr ; the sword expresses the manner of her death ; the crown is 
hers of right, as sovereign princess ; she holds the book as significant of 
her learning ; she tramples on the pagan tyrant All these attributes 
may be found in the effigies of other saints ; but the especial and pecu- 
liar attribute of St Catherine is the wheel. When entire, it is an 
emblem of the tortiu'e to which she was exposed : in the later pictures 
it is oftener broken ; it is then an historical attribute, it represents the 
instrument by which she was to have been tortured, and tlie miracle 
through which she was redeemed. She leans upon it, or it lies at her 
feet, or an angel bears it over her head. In Raphael's St. Catherine, 
in our National Gallery, she leans on the wheel, and no other attribute 
is introduced : this, however, is very uncommon ; the characteristic 
sword and the book are generally present, even where the crown and 
palm are omitted. The grim turbaned head of Maximin, placed 
beneath her feet, is confined, with very few exceptions, to the sculp- 
tural and Gothic effigies and the stained glass of the fourteenth cen- 

In the earliest Greek mosaics and pictures, St Catherine wears the 

' It was perhaps the early relations of Venice with the East, which rendered St. Catherine 
so popular in that city as patroness. Her festival is called the Festa dei Dotti, and was insti- 
tuted in her honour by the Doge Pietro Gradenigo, in 1307. 

All the colleges and universities of the Venetian States, Padua especially, were placed 
under her protection, and opened, after the recess on the day of her festival. 


richly embroidered dress given in Greek Art to all royal personages ; 
the diadem on her head, a book and a cross in her hand, and no wheel. 
She has, generally, a dignified but stem expression. 

In the best esamples of early Italian Art, and in those of the Giotto 
ecbool, the preTailing character is simplicity and earnestness. In the 
Milan school there is, generally, more of intellect and refinement ; and, 
in par^cular, an ample brow, with the long fair hair parted in front. 
In the Venetian pictures, she is generally most sumptuously dressed in 
ermine and embroidery, and all the external attributes of royalty. In 
the Florentine pictures, she has great elegance ; and in the Bologna 
school a more commanding majesty. In the early German school we 
find that neglect of beauty which is characteristic of the school, but 
the intellectual and meditative dignity 
proper to the sunt iSjinthe best masters, 
powerfully rendered. 

Representations of St. Catherine as 
patroness so abound in every form of 
Art, and are so easily recognised, that 
I shall mention only a few among 
them, either as examples of excellence, 
or of some particular treatment in the 
character and attributes which may 
lead the reader to observe such familiar 
eflSgies with more of interest and dis- 
crimination, and with reference to that 
appropriate character which the cir- 
cumstances of her story should lead us 
to require, 

1. School of Giotto. " St. Cathe- 
rine, as patron stunt and martyr, stands 
between two wheels, holding her book 
and palm : " a beautiful picture, in the 
possession of M. Auguste Valbreque, 
who allowed mc to make a sketch from 
it: the 'ico wheels are unusual. (117) w si. cnhcimc. (Gioiut. lkuki.) 


lie Scul|Aure. (SKulnirg CithedFal.) 119 GcXbic Sculplun. (ChipM orHtocr VII.) 

2, Greco-Italiaii. St. Catherine is seated on a throne, wearing the 
royal crown, and with an air of profound meditation. Scattered around, 
and at her feet, a number of books, mathematical instruments, and 
tablets, on which ore traced calculations and problems, also a celestial 
sphere. She is here the especial patroness of science and philosophy; 
— the Urania of the Greeks.' 

3. Siena School. She stands, crowned, and holding the book and 
palm. On the flat dark background of the picture are painted the im- 
plements of the mechaniciil arts, such as shears, hammers, saws, a car- 

' Florence, Kiiiucciiii tiul. 


penter's rule and plane, a pair of compasses, a pestle and mortar, combs 
for carding wool, a spindle and distaff, &c. She is here the especial 
patroness of the arts : — the Greek Minerva. 

4. Gothic Sculpture. She stands with a scroll in her raised hand, 
trampling a philosopher under her feet On reflection, I am not sure 
that this fine figure is a St. Catherine, but perhaps Wisdom or Science 
in the allegorical sense. 

5. Ghirlandajo.' She stands, crowned, and partly veiled, with one 
hand on the wheel, the other sustains the folds of her drapery ; a ring 
conspicuous on her finger, in allusion to her mystical espousals. The 
face has little beauty and rather a severe expression, but the figure and 
attitude are full of dignity, and the drapery most elegant. 

6. Gt)thic' Sculpture. She stands with the book and sword, wearing 
the royal crown ; under her feet the wheel and the Emperor Maximin. 
In the same style are the efiSgies in the stained glass of the thirteenth 
and fourteenth centuries. 

7. Kaphael. She leans on her wheel, looking up. The beautiful 
picture is in our National Giillery. Baphael's original first thought for 
the head, sketched with a pen, is at Oxford ; the more finished drawing 
is in the possession of the Duke of Devonshire. 

8. Siena SchooL She stands, crowned, with her book and palm ; a 
small broken wheel, worked in gold, suspended from her neck as an 

9. Hans Hemling (?). St. Catherine kneeling, in a Coronation of 
the Virgin. She is crowned and richly attired. The broken wheel is 
suspended as an ornament at the end of a gold chain, fastened to her 
girdle : just aa a German woman wears her bunch of keys.* 

10. Albert Diirer. She is crowned ; seated on a chair, which looks 
like a professor's chair ; at her side the sword ; in front a portion of a 
broken wheel. (120) 

11. Intarsiatura. She stands, crowned; in the left hand the palm, 
in the other the sword. The head of the tyrant is at her feet, and the 
point of the sword pierces his mouth, showing that she had vanquished 

« FI. Acad. 

* The Coronation of the Virgin, in the gallery of Prince Wallerstein, now in Kensington 
Palace, is by some attributed to Hemling. 


. (Albnrl DUnr. 

him ID argument. A figure of singular elegance, in the FlorentJoe 
manner, in the church of S. Giovanni at Malta. 

12. Milan School: Lionardo, or Luini. She ia crowned with myrtle, 
and holds her book ; on each side a most heautiful angel, one of whom 
bears the wheel, the other the palm. The expreasion full of intellect 
and Bweetneas.' 

13. Cesare da Seeto. She ia looking down with a contemplative air, 
her long golden hair crowned with a wreath of myrtle, and leaning with 
both hands on her wheel. Most beautiful and refined.* 

14. Francia. She is crowned, as patron saint, and looking down, 
one hand resting on her wheel. The figure amply draped and full of 
dignity. The engraving by Marc Antonio is rare and beautiful. 

' In lUe collection of Mr. Uowurd of Coriiic. ' Frankfort Museuuj. 


15, Luini School.' She ia between two wheels, with long dishevelled 
hair, and hands clasped in supplication. She ie here the martyr only. 

16. Palma.* St. Catlierine, crowned 
and richly draped, at the feet of the 
Madonna. It is the portrait of his 
daughter, the beautiful Violante. 

The figures of St. Catherine by 
Titian, Paul Veronese, aod Tintoretto, 
alt have the air of portruts, and, in 
general, are sumptuously crowned and 
attired, with lusunant fair hiur, and 
holding the palm oftener than the 
book. She appears, in such pictures, 
as the patron saint of Venice. There 
is a famous picture, by Titian, of the 
unhappy Catherine Cornaro, Qnecn of 
Cyprus, in the character of St Ca^ 

17. Paul Veronese. St. Catherine, 
kneeling on her broken wheel, looks 
up at the Madonna and Child on a 
throne above. She is here attired as 
a Venetian lady of rank, and wears the 
royal crown. 

18. Annibal Caracci. St. Catherine, 
as patroness of the arts and sciences, 
and St. Luke as patron saint of paint- 
ing, on each side of the Madonna and 

'■■ -"'•■'"• "•■""■"^' Child, 

19. Guido. She is kneeling, as martyr, with clasped hands and 
flowing hair; the figure being taken from one of the disconsolate 
mothers in the famous Massacre of the Innocents, slightly altered, is 
deficient in character. The wheels are in the background.* 

' Pilti Pal. ' Vienna Gsl. ■ Windsor GaL 


20. St. Catherine reading. To distinguish her from other saints who 
also read^ a small wheel is embroidered on her book. 

21. Domenichino. She is standing, as patron saint, with crown, 
sword, palm, and wheeL The attributes crowded ; the figure majestic, 
but mannered, and without much character. There is also the same 
figure half-length at Windsor. 

22. Domenichino. She is standing, as martyr; an angel descends 
with the crown and palm : very dignified and beautiful.^ 

23. St. Catherine reading ; she rests one hand, which holds the palm, 
on her wheel. In such pictures she is the patroness of students and 
scholars. There is an example at Hampton Court. 

When St. Catherine is grouped with other saints, her usual pendant 
is St Barbara, sometimes also Mary Magdalene ; in the Venetian pic- 
tures, frequently St. George. In the German pictures, St. Catherine 
is often grouped with St. Ursula. As patroness of learning, she is 
sometimes in companionship with one or other of the Doctors of the 
Church ; most frequently with St. Jerome. 

The Marriage of St. Catherine, however treated, must be con- 
sidered as a strictly devotional subject : it is not an incident ; it is an 
allegOBical vision, implying the spiritual union between Christ and the 
redeemed soul. This is the original signification of the subject, and 
there can be no doubt that the religious interpretation of the " Song of 
Solomon," with all its amatory and hymeneal imagery, led the fancy to 
this and similar representations. Whatever may be thought of the 
Marriage of St. Catherine in this mystical sense, we cannot but feel 
that as a subject of Art it is most attractive : even in the most simple 
form, with only three persons, it combines many elements of picturesque 
and poetical beauty. The matronly dignity of the maternal Virgin, 
the god-like infancy of the Saviour, the refined loveliness and graceful 
humility of the saint, form of themselves a group susceptible of the most 
various, the most delicate, shades of expression. 

The introduction of angels as attendants, or of beatified personages 
as spectators, or other ideal accessaries, must be considered as strictly 

I Sntherland Gal. 


in harmony with the subject, lending it a kind of scenic and dramatic 
interest, while it retains its mystical and devotional character. 

The Marriage of St Catherine is one of the subjects in early Greek 
Art ; but it occurs very seldom in Italian Art before the middle of the 
fifteenth century : in the sixteenth it became popular, and, for obvious 
reasons, it was a favourite subject in nunneries. Why, I do not know, 
but it has always been very rare in German Art ; and therefore it is 
the more remarkable that the earliest example that I can cite is from 
one of the earliest artists of the genuine German school, the anonymous 
engraver whom we know only as " Le graveur de 1466." Whoever he 
may have been, he was certainly a man of a most original and poetical 
turn of mind : he lived in the very infancy of the art, being, I suppose, 
the first German who took the burin in hand after the invention of 
copper-plate engraving; but his works, in spite of their rudeness in 
drawing and execution, are a storehouse of poetical ideas. What, for 
instance, can be more fanciful, and more true to the mysticism of the 
subject, than his arrangement of the ** Marriage of St Catherine ? " 
The scene is Paradise ; the Virgin-mother, seated on a flowery throne, 
is in the act of twining a wreath, for which St Dorothea presents the 
roses ; in front of the Virgin kneels St Catherine, and beside her stands 
the Infant Christ (here a child about five or six yeare old), and presents 
the ring : on one side, St. Agnes, St Barbara, St Agatha, and St 
Margaret ; on the other, St Mary Magdalene and St Apollonia ; the 
figures being disposed in a semicircle. Behind the throne of the Virgin 
is seen a grand chorus of angels, holding scrolls of music in their hands, 
and singing ** Gloria in excelsis Deo I " — the Holy Spirit, in form of a 
dove, is hovering over the whole. The conception, it must be admitted, 
is in the highest degree poetical ; in the same degree, the execution is 
rude, and the drawing meagre. 

1. Correggio. Two very celebrated pictures. In the first example, 
which is life-size, St. Catherine bends down with the softest, meekest 
tenderness and submission, and the Virgin unites her hand to that of the 
Infant Christ, who looks up in his mother's face with a divine yet infan- 
tine expression. St Sebastian stands by holding his arrows.^ It is of 

I Louvre, 27. 


in SUrrbgBQfSl. ClherlM. (TiUiD.) 

this picture that Vaaari truly said that the heads appeared to have been 
painted in Paradise. In the backgroundis seen the nuirtyrdom of the 
two saints. 

The other example is a small picture, also of exquisite beauty : here 
the attendant is an angel.' 

2. Cola deir Amatrice. The Virgin-mother is seated on a sort of 
low bench. The Child, standing on her knee, presents the ring to 
St Catherine, who is also standing, simply attired and with no attribute 
but the sword, which she holds upright: — this treatment is peculiar. 

3. Titian. The Infant Christ is seated on a kind of pedestal, and sus- 
tuned by the arms of the Virgin. St. Catherine kneels before him, 
and Sl Anna, the mother of the Virgin, gives St. Catherine away, 
presenting her hand to receive the ring ; St. Joseph is standing on the 
other side ; two angels behind the saint look on with an expression of 
celestial sympathy. In general the Venetian painters lavished on this 
favourite subject the richest, most fanciful, most joyous accompaniments: 
as in a picture by F. Veronese, where the scene is a palace or a luxurioas 


\a HurlwotSl-CitlHirliH. (CaladBJl'Amttike, IU3.) 

liuidBcape ; St. Catherine is id the gorgeous bridal attbe of a princcBs, 
and a choir of angels chant hymns of joy. There is a picture by Titian 
in which St Catherine, kneeling by the cradle of the Infant Saviour, 
haa taken him in her arms, and presses him to her bosom with the action 
of a food nurse ; so completely was the solemn and mystical allegory of 
the nuptial bond forgotten, or set aside ! ' 

4. Perugino. The Vii^n, seated, holds the Infant Saviour standing 
on her knee ; he benda forward to put the ring on St Catherine's right 
hand. Joseph is seen behind in meditation. 

5. Farmigiano. The Virgin as usual with the Infant Christ upon her 
knee ; St. Catherine resting one hand upon her wheel presents the 


other ; and the Infant Christy while he puts the ring on her finger, 
throws himself back, looking up in his mother's face, as if he were at 
play. Beneath is the head of an old man, with a long grey beard, 
holding a book : whether the painter intended him for Joseph, who is 
often present on this occasion, or for the old hermit of the legend, is not 

6. Kubens makes the ceremony take place in presence of St. Peter, 
St. Paul, and a vast company of saints and martyrs.' 

7. Vandyck. The Virgin holds a wreath of flowers in her hand 
ready to crown the saint at the same moment that she receives the ring 
from Christ ; the expression of St. Catherine as she bends in adoration is 
most charming ; in one hand she holds the palm-branch, resting it upon 
the wheel. The exceeding beauty of the Virgin has obtained for this 
picture the appellation of " la plus belle des Vierges." * 

Sometimes the Divoto for whom the picture has been painted is sup- 
posed to be present. I remember a Marriage of St Catherine in pre- 
sence of the Emperor Matthias and his court. I have seen some in- 
stances in which the divine Infant, instead of presenting the nuptial 
ring, places a wreath of roses on her head. In all these examples, 
Christ is represented as a child. In one instance only I have seen him 
figured as a man about thirty, standing on one side, attended by a 
company of angels, while Catherine stands opposite attended by a train 
of virgin-martyrs. 

I do not remember a single instance of " The Marriage of St. Cathe- 
rine " in the stained glass of the fourteenth century ; but such may 
exist : the other subjects from her history are commonly met with. 

The Sposalizio of St. Catherine of Alexandria, the princess-martyr, 
must not be confounded with the Sposalizio of St. Catherine of Siena, 
who was a Dominican nun.^ 

Both are sometimes represented in the same picture. 

8. Ambrogio Bogognone. The Virgin is seated on a splendid throne 
holding the divine Child ; on the right kneels St Catherine of Alex- 

> Both pictures are in the Grosvenor GaL 

' A magnificent picture, containing more than twenty figures, in the church of the 
Angustincs at Antwerp. 
' In the Queen's Gal., Buckingham Palace. 
* See the Monastic Orders, p. 395. 


andria ; on the left St. Catherine of Siena. The Infant presents a ring 
to each, the Mother guiding his little hands: — a most beautiful picture.^ 
Some of the most striking incidents in the life of St. Catherine have 
been treated historically, as separate subjects* 

1. " The dispute with the fifty philosophers ; " the number of the 
philosophers generally represented by a few persons. Pinturicchio has 
painted this subject in a large crowded fresco. The scene is the interior 
of a temple : Maximin is on his throne ; and before him, standing, St. 
Catherine attired in a richly embroidered dress ; in one hand her book, 
the other raised ; around the throne of the emperor, many philosophers, 
some arguing, some demonstrating, some meditating doubtfully, others 
searching their great books ; further ofi^, spectators and attendants : 
about fifty figures in all.' 

Yasari. St. Catherine, with her robe and hair flying loose, and in a 
most theatrical attitude, disputes with the philosophers, who are turning 
over their books : the emperor looks down from a balcony above.' 

Where St Catherine is standing, or sitting on a raised throue, as one 
teaching, rather than disputing, and with seven philosophers around her, 
then the subject evidently represents the " seven wise masters " whom 
her father had assembled to teach her, and who became her disciples ; 
and St. Catherine should look like the magnificent princess in Tenny- 
son's poem — 

*' Among her graye professors, scatteriDg gems 
Of wrt and science.** 

2. The subject usually called the " Martyrdom of St. Catherine," 
her exposure to the torture of the wheels, should rather be called the 
Deliverance of St. Catherine. It is one of the most frequent subjects 
in early Art. The lea<ling idea is always the same, and the subject 
easily recognised, however varied in the representation. St. Catherine 
is seen between two or four wheels armed with iron teeth or spikes, 
while two or more executioners prepare to turn the wheels ; or she is 
kneeling beside the instrument of torture : the emperor and his attend- 
ants are sometimes introduced : an angel, descending from heaven amid 

1 When I saw it, in possession of M. Grahl of Dresden. 

^ Vatican, Rome. ' Capitol, Rome. 


thunder and lightnings or bearing an avenging sword, breaks the 
wheels, and scatters horror and confusion among the pagans. 

The most beautiful instance I can remember is the large picture by 
Gaudenzio Ferrari. She is represented in a ftcMit view, kneeling, her 
hair dishevelled, her hands clasped, and in the eyes, upraised to the 
opening heavens above, a most divine expression of faith and resigna- 
tion ; on each side are the wheels armed with spikes, which the execu- 
tioners are preparing to turn : behind sits the emperor on an elevated 
throne, and an angel descends from above armed with a sword. In this 
grand picture the figures are life-size.* 

By Albert Diirer, a most spirited woodcut, rather coarse, however, 
in execution. She is kneeling, with bowed head; the wheels are 
broken by a tempest from heaven ; the executioners look paralysed 
with horror. 

There is a fine dramatic composition by Giulio Romano, in which 
the wheels are seen shivered by lightning and stones from heaven, 
which are flung down by angels ; the executioners and spectators arc 
struck dead or confounded. 

3. " The Vision of St. Catherine." She is represented sleeping in 
the arms of an angeL Another angel with outspread wings appears to 
address her. Infant angels, bearing the palm, the crown, the wheel, 
and the sword, hover around. I have seen but one example of this 
subject : it is engraved in the Teniers Gallery. 

4. " The Decapitation of St. Catherine " is, properly, her martyrdom. 
This subject is of frequent occurrence, and little varied ; in general, the 
broken wheels are introduced in the background, in order to distinguish 
St. Catherine from other female saints who were also decapitated. 
There is a very fine and curious engraving, in which St. Catherine is 
kneeling ; the executioner stands near her, and three angels extend a 
linen cloth to receive and bear away her body. Maximin and others are 

Spinello. In the foreground, St. Catherine is decapitated ; above are 
seen four angels bearing her body over sea and land ; and in the far 
distance, two angels bury her on the summit of Mount Sinai.* 

5. *^ St Catherine buried by the Angels." Of this charming subject, 

» Milan, Brera. ■ Bartsch, vi. 374. » Berlin GaL 


IM Angilibur SI. CUherloe lo Mount Slnal. (MBck<.) 

SO freqaently introduced into the background of the eceue of her mar- 
tyrdom, there are many examples in a separate form. 

There is a fresco by Luini, in the Brera at Milan, of exceeding 
beauty. Three angels sustain the body of St. Catherine, hovering 
above the tomb in which they prepare to lay ber. The tranquil refined 
character of the head of the saint, and the expression of death, are 
exceedingly fine. (116) 

In an elegant little picture by Giles de Rye, two angels lay her in a 
marble sarcophagus, and a third scatters flowers.' There is another by 
Cespedes at Cordoba." 

There is a modern version of this fine subject, by a German painter 
(MUcke), which has become popular : four angels bear the body of St. 
Catherine over sea and land to Mount Sinai ; one of the foremost carries 
a sword, the instrument of her martyrdom. The floating, onward 
movement of the group is very beautifully expressed. (124) 

In tlie Spanish Gallery of the Louvre, now dispersed, there was a 

' Vienna Gal. ' v. Stirling's Artigti o[ Spain, p. 339. 


curious votive picture by F. Herrera, of which one would like to know 
the history. A nobleman of Seville, and his family, are imprisoned 
in a dungeon ; they implore the aid of St Catherine, who appears to 
them, habited in the rich Spanish costume of the time (about 1620), and 
promises them deliverance, 

Another legend of St Catherine is represented in a small old picture 
by Ambrogio di Lorenzo ' : on one side are seen two nuns vjdnly im- 
ploring a physician to heal one of the sisterhood who is sick ; on the 
other, the sick nun is seen lying in her cell ; St Catherine descends 
from heaven to heal her. These and similar pictures may be considered 
as votive offerings to St. Catherine, as the giver of good counsel, in 
which character she is particularly venerated. 

The life of St Catherine forms a beautiful and dramatic series, and is 
often met with in the chapels dedicated to her. And it is worthy of 
remark, that the mystical ** marriage " is scarcely ever included in the 
historical series, but reserved as an altar-piece, or treated apart 

On a window of the Cathedral at Angers — 

1. St Catherine disputes with the emperor and the philosophers. 
Maxentius sits on a throne with a sword in his hand ; she stands before 
him with a book. 2. She is bound between two wheels ; a hand out of 
heaven breaks the wheels. 3. St Catherine, in prison, converts the 
empress. 4. Christ visits her in prison ; an angel brings her a crown. 
5. Catherine is bound and scourged by two executioners. 6. The 
empress is beheaded on one side ; and St. Catherine on the other. 7. 
Three angels bury St. Catherine ; two lay her in the sepulchre ; one 
stands by, holding her severed head in a napkin. 

The series in her chapel at Assisi is much ruined. It appeared to me 
to consist of the usual scenes. In the conversion of the empress, she is 
seated inside the prison, listening to the instruction of Catherine, while 
Porphyry stands without, holding her palfrey. 

I observed, in the last subject of the series, that St. Catherine, instead 
of being buried by three angels, which is the usual manner, is borne 
over land and sea by a whole troop of angels, ten or twelve in number. 

By Masaccio. In the chapel of St. Catherine, in the church of San 

' Berlin Gal 


Clenaeate, at Boine, we find this celebrated series : in Bpite of iU ruined 
condition, the grave sentiment and refinement of the principal figures are 
still most striking. 1. She refuses to adore the idols. 2. She converts 
the empress. She is seen through a window seated inside a prison, and 
the empress is seated outside of the prison, opposite to her, in a graceful 
listening attitude. 3. The empress is beheaded, and her soul is carried 
by an angel into heaven. 4. St. Catherine disputes with the philoso- 
phers. She is standing in the midst of a hall, the fore-finger of one 
hand laid on the other, as in the act of demonstrating. She is repre- 
sented fair and girlish, dressed with great simplicity in a tunic and 
girdle, — no crown, nor any other attribute. The sages are ranged on 
each side, some lost in thought, others in astonishment : the tyrant is 
seen behind, as if watcliing the conference ; while through an open 
window we behold the fire kindled for the converted philosophers, and 
^e scene of their execution. 5. Catherine is delivered from the wheels, 
which are broken by an angeU 6. She is beheaded. In the back- 
ground angels lay her in a sarcophagus on the summit of Mount Sinai. 


St. Barbara. 

Ital. Santa Barbara. Fr. Sainte Barbe. Patron saint of armoarers and gunsmiths ; of 
fire-arms and fortifications. She is invoked against thunder and lightning, and all 
accidents arising from explosions of gunpowder. Patroness of Ferrara, Guastala, and 
Mantua. Dec 4. a.d. 303. 

The legend of St. Barbara was introduced from the East^ about the 
same time with that of St. Catherine. She is the armed Pallas or 
Bellona of the antique mythology^ reproduced under the aspect of a 
Christian martyr. 

** There was a certain man named Dioscorus, who dwelt in Heliopolis; 
noble^ and of great possessions ; and he had an only daughter, named 
Barbara, whom he loved exceedingly. Fearful lest, from her singular 
beauty, she should be demanded in marriage and taken from him, he 
shut her up in a very high tower, and kept her secluded from the eyes 
of men. The virtuous Barbara, in her solitude, gave herself up to study 
and meditation ; from the summit of her tower she contemplated the 
stars of heaven and their courses ; and the result of her reflections was, 
that the idols of wood and stone worshipped by her parent^ could not be 
really gods — could not have created the wonders on which she medi- 
tated night and day. So she contemned, in her heart, these false gods ; 
but as yet she knew not the true faith. 

** Now, in the loneliness of her tower, the fame reached her of a 
certain sage who had demonstrated the vanity of idolatry, and who 
taught a new and holy religion. This was no other than the famous 
doctor and teacher, Origen, who dwelt in the city of Alexandria. St. 
Barbara longed beyond measure to know more of his teaching. She 
therefore wrote to him secretly, and sent her letter by a sure messenger, 
who, on arriving at Alexandria, found Origen in the house of the 
Empress Mammea, occupied in expounding the Gospel. Origen, on 
reading the letter of St. Barbara, rejoiced greatly ; he wrote to her with 
his own hand, and sent to her one of his disciples, disguised as a 
physician, who perfected her conversion, and she received baptism from 
his hands. 


" Her father, Dioscorus, who was violently opposed to the Christians, 
was at this time absent: but previous to his departure he had sent 
skilful arclutects to construct within the tower a bath-chamber of won- 
derful splendour. One day St. Barbara descended from her turret to 
view the progress of the workmen; and seeing that they had con* 
structed two windows, commanded them to insert a third. Tliey hesi- 
tated to obey her, saying, * We are afraid to depart from the orders we 
have received.' But she answered, ' Do as I command : ye shall be 
held guiltless.' When her father returned he was displeased ; and he 
said to his daughter, ^ Why hast thou done this thing, and inserted three 
windows instead of two?' — and she answered, ^ Know, my father, that 
through three windows doth the soul receive light — the Father, the 
Son, and the Holy Ghost ; and the Three are One.' Then her father, 
being enraged, drew his sword to kill her, and she fled from him to the 
summit of the tower, and he pursued her ; but by angels she was wrapt 
from his view, and carried to a distance. A shepherd betrayed her by 
pointing silently to the place of her concealment; and her father 
dragged her thence by the hair, and beat her, and shut her up in a 
dungeon ; — all the love he formerly felt for his daughter being changed 
into unrelenting fury and indignation when he found she was a Christian. 
He denounced her to the proconsul Marcian, who was a cruel persecutor 
of the Christians : the proconsul, after vainly endeavouring to persuade 
her to sacrifice to his false gods, ordered her to be scourged and tortured 
horribly ; but St. Barbara only prayed for courage to endure what was 
inflicted, rejoicing to suffer for Christ's sake. Her father, seeing no 
hope of her yielding, carried her to a certain mountain near the city, 
drew his sword, and cut off* her head with his own hands ; but as he 
descended the mountain, there came on a most fearful tempest, with 
thunder and lightning, and fire fell upon this cruel father and consumed 
him utterly, so that not a vestige of him remained."^ 

In the devotional pictures, St. Barbara bears the sword and palm in 
common with other martyrs; when she wears the diadem, it is as 
martyr, not as princess : she has also the book, and is often reading, in 

' Legcnda Aurea. 
o 2 


allusion to her studious life ; but her peculiar, almost invariable, attri- 
bute is the tower, generally with three windows, in allusion to the 

St. Barbara, as protectress against thunder and lightning, firearms, 
and gunpowder, is also invoked against sudden death ; for it was be- 
lieved that those who devoted themselves to her should not die impe- 
nitent; nor without having first received the holy sacraments. She 
therefore carries the sacramental cup and wafer, and is the only female 
saint who bears this attribute. She is usually dressed with great mag- 
nificence, and almost always in red drapery. The tower is often a 
massy building in the background, and she holds the sword in one hand, 
and the Gospel or palm in the other : occasionally, in early pictures, 
and early German prints, she holds a little tower in her hand, merely as 
a distinguishing attribute ; or she is leaning on it as a pedestal. 

In a beautiful picture of the Van Eyck school which I saw in the 
Museum at Rouen, representing the Virgin and Child throned in the 
midst of female saints, St. Barbara is seated on the left of the Madonna, 
bending over a book, and wearing on her head a rich and tasteful 
diadem of gems and gold, the front of which is worked into the form of 
a triple tower. I have seen the tower modelled in gold, suspended 
in a golden chain from her girdle. 

I have seen several pictures of St Barbara in which she holds a 
feather in her hand ; generally a peacock's feather. I have never met 
with any explanation of this attribute ; and am inclined to believe, 
as it is only found in the German pictures, that it refers to an old 
German version of her legend, which relates that when St. Barbara was 
scourged by her father, the angels changed the rods into feathersw 

The expression of the head varies with the fancy of the painter ; but 
in the best pictures, at least in all those that aspire to character, the 
countenance and attitude convey the idea of thoughtfulness, dignity, and 
power. Luini, in a fresco group in the Brera, where she stands opposite 
to St. Antony, has given her this expression of " umilta superba.^^ 
Domenichino has given her this look, with large lustrous eyes, full of 

1. The most beautiful of the single figures to which I can refer is the 
chef-d'oeuvre of Palma Vecchio, placed over the altar of St. Barbara in 

ST. BUtfiAKA. wg 

the church of Santa Maria Formoaa at Venice. She ia standing in a 
majestic attitude, looking upwards with inspired eyes, and an expres- 
sion like a Pallas. She wears a 
tunic or robe of a rich warm brown, 
with a mantle of crimson; and a 
white veil is twisted in her diadem 
and among the tresses of her pale 
golden hair: the whole picture is 
one glow of colour, life, and beauty ; 
I never saw a combination of ex- 
pression and colour at once so soft, 
so sober, and so splendid. Cannon 
are at her feet, and her tower is 
seen behind.' Beneath, in front of 
the altar, b a marble bas>relief of 
her martyrdom ; she lies headless on 
the ground, and fire from heaven 
destroys the executioners. 

There is a very fine single figure 
of St. Barbara holding her cup and 
wafer, by Ghirlandiyo.' 

2. Almost equal in beauty, but 
quite in the German style, is a full 
length by Holbein in the Munich 
Gallery. (126) 

3. Matteo da Siena (1479). En- 
throned as patron saint, she holds in 

her left hand a tower, within the "* st. B«iar<wiihihech.ii««iKiHoii. 

door of which is seen the cup and 

wafer; her right hand holds the palm, and two angels, bearing a crown, 

' Thii is the mott celebrated of the nameroua portraita of VioUcte Palma, Titiaii'a firat 
love, according to the well-known tradition, and whose beantifui face and form arc lo be 
traced in some of his early pictures, as well as those of Pulma and Giorgione. Her portrait 
by Giorgione is in the Manfrini Pakce ; slie is holding a guitar. Her portrait by her fallier' 
is nt Dresden ; and her portrait by Titian, as Flora, in the Florence Gailcry, 

' Berlin Gal. 


hover above her head ; two other angels with musical instruments are 
at her feet ; on the right of St Barbara stands St. Catherine, and on 
the left St. Mary Magdalene.* 

I give an etching of the principal figure. 

4. Cosimo Boselli. St. Barbara, holding the tower in one hand, in 
the other the palm, stands upon her father, who is literally sprawling 
on the ground under her feet ; on one side stands St. John the Baptist, 
on the other St. Matthias the apostle.' This is a strange, disagreeable 
picture, very characteristic of the eccentric painter : but for the intro- 
duction of the tower, I should have taken it for a St. Catherine trampling 
on the Emperor Maximin. 

5. Michael Coxis. St. Barbara is represented holding a feather in 
her hand (127). In two pictures (old German) it is distinctly a white 
ostrich feather ; in others, it is a peacock's feather. In a Madonna picture 
by Vander Goes the Virgin is seated with the Child on her knee ; two 
angels crown her ; on the right, St Catherine, with the sword and part 
of the wheel lying before her, presents an apple to the Infant Christ ; 
on the left is St Barbara, with a book on her knee, and holding a 
peacock's feather in her hand. The whole exquisite for finish, and 
beauty of workmanship.* 

It is usual in a sacred group (Sacra Conversazione) to find St Cathe* 
rine and St Barbara in companionship, particularly in German Art ; 
and then it is clear to me that they represent the two powers which in 
the middle ages divided the Christian world between them. St Cathe- 
rine appears as the patroness of schoolmen, of theological learning, 
study, and seclusion ; St. Barbara as patroness of the knight and the 
man-at-arms — of fortitude and active courage. Or, in other words, 
they represent the active and the contemplative life, so often contrasted 
in the mediaeval works of art* 

There is a beautiful and well-known drawing by J. Van Eyck, in 
which St Barbara is seated in front, with outspread ample drapery and 
long fair hair flowing over her shoulders. Behind her is a magnificent 
Gothic tower, of most elaborate architecture, on which a number of 
masons and builders are employed. 

' Siena, San Domenico. » Fl. Acad. 

■ Florence Gal. * Legends of the Madonna, p. 97. 


in 8t. Bubm vIUi * ItethM. (UlcbHl Caili. Muotch Gd.) 

St Barbara ie frequently introduced into pictures of the throued 
Madonna. The most celebrated example is the " Madonna di San 
Sisto " of Kaphael, in which she ie kneeling to the left of the Virgin ; 
on the other side is St. Sixtus. The expression in the two saints is 
admirably discriminated. St. Sixtua implorea the Virgin in favour of 


the brotherhood for whom the picture was painted; St. Barbara requires 
for the Virgin the devotions of the faithfuL I have ateady observed 
that, where saints are grouped together, the usual pendant of St Bar- 
bara is St. Catherine, unless there are special reasons for introducing 
some other personage, — as in this instance : the picture having been 
painted for the monastery of San Sisto at Piacenza. 

Historical pictures of St Barbara are confined to few subjects. 

1. In a small ancient picture, evidently part of a predella, St. Bar- 
bara with two female attendants is seen standing before a tower, which 
has a drawbridge let down over a moat ; she seems about to enter ; 
several masons are at work building the tower. (As in the etching.) 
In the other half of the picture, she is lying in a shrine hung with 
votive offerings, and the crippled and the sick appear before it as 

2. Pinturicchio, large fresco in the Vatican. In the centre the 
mystical tower; on one side, she is flying from her father; on the 
other, the wall opens, and she escapes. The treacherous shepherd is 
seen in the distance. 

3. Rubens. St Barbara flies from her father to the top of a tower ; 
he, in the likeness of a " turbaned Turk," is seen pursuing her, sword 
in hand : a small sketch in the Dulwich Gallery. 

In pictures of the martyrdom of St Barbara, the leading idea or 
motif does not vary ; she is on her knees, and her father, always in a 
turban, the heathen attribute, seizes her by the hair with one hand, 
holding his sword in the other. Generally we find the tower in the 
background, or a peaked mountain, to express the locality. Among 
many engravings of this scene may be mentioned a very curious and 
beautiful old print, in which Dioscorus is in the very act of striking off 
her head ; the tower is seen behind, and in the window stands the 
sacramental cup.' 

A picture of striking beauty is the Martyrdom of St Barbara over 
her altar in the church of S. Maria-delle-Grazie at Brescia. She kneels 
in a white tunic embroidered with gold. Her pagan father, turbaned 

» Le Graveur de 1466. Bartsch, vi. 31. 

ST. BA&BAAA. 499 

as usual, has seized her by the hair : she looks up full of faith and love 
divine. There are several spectators, two on horseback, others on foot ; 
and in the vigorous painting of the heads and magnificent colour the 
picture resembles Titian. It is by his Brescian pupil and friend, Pietro 

In the church of St Barbara at Mantua is her martyrdom, by Bru- 
sasorci, over the high altar ; and in the church of St. Barbara at Ferrara 
there is a most beautiful altar-piece, by G. Mazzuoli, representing the 
saint in the midst of a choir of virgin-martyrs, who seem to welcome 
her into their celestial community. 

As patroness of firearms and against sudden death, the efiSgy of St. 
Barbara is a frequent ornament on shields, armour, and particularly 
great guns and fieldpieces. I found her whole history on a suit of 
armour which the Emperor Maximilian sent as a present to Henry VIII. 
in 1509, and which is now preserved in the Tower. On the breast- 
plate is St George as patron of England, vanquishing the dragon ; on 
the back-plate, St Barbara standing majestic, with her tower, her cup, 
and her book. On the horse-armour we have the history of the two 
saints, disposed in a regular series, each scene from the life of St 
George being accompanied by a corresponding scene from the life of 
St Barbara. 1. St George, mounted on horseback, like a knight of 
romance riding forth in search of adventures : St Barbara, attended by 
two maidens, directs the building of her tower ; a man is ascend- 
ing a ladder with a hod full of bricks. 2. St George is accused before 
the Emperor. St Barbara is pursued by her father. 3. St George 
is tortured by the wheels. St Barbara is scourged. 4. St George is 
beheaded by an executioner. St Barbara is beheaded by her father, 
who seizes her by the hair in the usual manner, amid the raging of a 

The designs are in the manner of Hans Burgmair's Triumph of Maxi- 
milian, and, probably by the same hand, elaborately engraved on the plates 
of the armour ; the figures about six inches high. The arabesque orna- 
ments which surround the subjects are of singular elegance, intermingled 

VOL. II. r 


with the roae and pomegranate, the badge of Henry and Catherine of 
Anigon. The armour, being now exhibited to advanb^e on a wocxien 
man and horse, can easily be examined. In the description published 
in the" Archteologia," and the "Guide tothe Tower," there are a few mis- 
takes ; for instance, the " ecourging of St. Barbara " is styled *' the 
scourging of St, Agatha," who had no concern in any way with war 
or armour. Altogether, this suit of armour is a curious and interesting 
illustration of tlic religious and chtvalric np|)Iication of the Fine Arts.' 

' 1 And only one church in EtiglanU dcdicaced tu St. Uorbora, at Aehton-andcr-Hill, in 


St. Ursula and her Companions. 

Lat. S. Ursula, /to/. Santa Orsola. Fr, Sainte Ursule. Patroness of young gIrN, 
particularly school girls, and of all women who devote themselves especially to the care 
and education of their own sex. Oct. SI. 

Certain writers in theology, pitiably hard of belief, have set their 
wits to work — rather unnecessarily, as it appears to me— to reduce this 
extravagant and picturesque legend within the bounds of probability : 
but when they have proved to their own satisfaction that XL M. V. 
means eleven Martyr Virgins, and not eleven thousand ; — tliat the 
voyage over the unstable seas, amid storm and sunshine, — the winds 
sometimes fair, sometimes furiously raging, — signifies the voyage of 
life, with all its vicissitudes ; and the whole story merely a religious 
allegory ; — when this has all been laid down incontrovertibly, we are 
not much advanced: for one thing is clear; our ancestors, to whom all 
marvels and miracles in a religious garb came equally accredited, under- 
stood the story literally. Endowed with a sort of " chevril " faith, which 
stretched " from an inch narrow to an ell broad," they found it quite as 
easy to believe in eleven thousand virgins as in eleven ; nor was there 
in its chronological and geographical absurdities any thing to stagger 
the faith of the ignorant. In spite of the critical sneers of the learned, 
it kept its hold on the popular fancy. It was especially delightful to 
the women, whom it placed in a grand and poetical point of view ; — 

** And though small credit doubting wits might give. 
Yet maids and innocents would still believe 1 '* 

The painters, in their efforts to give the story in a consistent form, 
have had the most difficult part of the task, inasmuch as it has been 
found embarrassing to bring the eleven thousand martyrs into any rea- 
sonable compass ; and the contrivances to which they have resorted for 
the purpose are sometimes very picturesque and ingenious. 

There are several different versions of this wild legend. In general 
it seems admitted as a fact, that, at a period when Christianity and 
civilisation were contending for the mastery over paganism and bar- 

P 2 


(Froni»i>»biSI. C«ier 

barism in the north of Germany, a noble maiden and eeveral of her 
companions were murdered for their faith, somewhere in the neighbour- 
hood of Cologne- Such incidents were not then uncommon. The 
exact date of the event is not fixed : some mention the year 237 as the 
probable date ; olhers 383 ; and others again 45 1, when the Huns in- 
vaded Belgium and Gaul. The tradition can be traced back to the 
year 600 ; in the year 846 the German Martyrolc^y of Wandelbert 
extended its popularity through the north of Europe. The first mention 
of the definite number of eleven thousand virgins was by Herman, 
bishop of Cologne, in 922, and is s^d to be founded on a mistake of 

ST. URSULA. 503 

the abbreviation XI. M. V., ue. eleven martyr virgins, for ** undecimilla 
vii^inis," eleven thousand virgins. Others reduce the eleven thousand 
to one; they say that a virgin named Undecimilla perished with St. 
Ursula, which gave rise to the mistake. All these attempts to reduce 
the legend to a fact, leave us, however, in the same predicament : we 
must accept it in the popular form in which it has been handed down to 
us, and which, from the multiplicity of the representations in Germany 
and Italy, has assumed a high degree of importance. In some versions 
of the story — for instance, in the Spanish version of Bibadeneira — the 
journey to Rome is omitted ; the names of the personages and the minor 
incidentB vary in all. I shall adhere to the Cologne version, as that 
which has been the most popular, and, I believe, invariably followed in 
German and Italian Art 

" Once on a time there reigned in Brittany a certain king, whose 
name was Theonotus *, and he was married to a Sicilian princess whose 
name was Daria. Both were Christians, and they were blessed with 
one daughter, whom they called Ursula, and whom they educated with 
exceeding care.^ When Ursula was about fifteen, her mother. Queen 
Daria, died, leaving the king almost inconsolable ; but Ursula, though 
80 young, supplied the place of her mother in the court She was not 
only wonderfully beautiful, and gifted with all the external graces of 
her sex, but accomplished in all the learning of the time. Her mind 
was a perfect storehouse of wisdom and knowledge : she had read about 
the stars, and the courses of the winds ; all that had ever happened in 
the world from the days of Adam she had by heart ; the poets and the 
philosophers were to her what childish recreations are to others : but, 
above all, she was profoundly versed in theology and school divinity, so 
that the doctors were astonished and confounded by her argumentative 
powers. To these accomplishments were added the more excellent gifts 
of humility, piety, and charity, so that she was esteemed the most 

' In the Italian versions of the Legend, he is called " H Re Mauro." 
' The derivation and meaning of the name, since so popular in Europe, is thus given hy 
Surius : — Hinc itaque, quia exemplo, David immanem ursum scilicet diabolum quandoque suffo^ 
catura erat, Deo disponente (qui quos vocal pradestinaty) parentibus illi in bapdsmate prasagum 
nomen Ursula indicatwn est. 


accomplished princess of the time. Her father, who loved her as the 
light of his eyes, desired nothing better than to keep her always at his 
side. But the fame of her beauty, her virtue, and her wondrous learn- 
ing, was spre^ through all the neighbouring lands, so that many of the 
neighbouring princes desired her in marriage : but Ursula refused every 

" Not far from Brittany, on the other side of the great ocean, was a 
country called England, vast and powerful, but the people were still in 
the darkness of paganism ; and the king of this country had an only 
son, whose name was Conon, as celebrated for his beauty of person, his 
warlike prowess, and physical strength, as Ursula for her piety, her 
graces, and her learning. He was now old enough to seek a wife ; and 
his father. King Agrippinus, hearing of the great beauty and virtue of 
Ursula, sent ambassadors to demand her in marriage for his son. 

•* When the ambassadors arrived at the palace of the King of Brittany, 
they were very courteously received, but the king was secretly much 
embarrassed, for he knew that his daughter had made a vow of perpetual 
chastity, having dedicated herself to Christ ; at the same time he feared 
to offend the powerful monarch of England by refusing his request : 
therefore he delayed to give an answer, and, having commanded the 
ambassadors to be sumptuously lodged and entertained, he retired to his 
chamber, and, leaning his head on his hand, he meditated what was best 
to be done ; but he could think of no help to deliver him from this 

" While thus he sat apart in doubt and sadness, the princess entered, 
and, learning the cause of his melancholy, she said with a smile, * Is this 
all ? Be of good cheer, my king and father ! for, if it please you, I will 
myself answer these ambassadors.* And her father replied, * As thou 
wilt, my daughter.' So the next day, when the ambassadors were again 
introduced, St. Ursula was seated on a throne by her father's side, and, 
having received and returned their salutation with unspeakable grace and 
dignity, she thus addressed them : — * I thank my lord the King of 
England, and Conon his princely son, and his noble barons, and you, 
sirs, his honourable ambassadors, for the honour ye have done me, so 
much greater than my deserving. I hold myself bound to your king as 
to a second father, and to the prince his son as to my brother and bride- 

BT. UltSULA. 506 

srroom, for to no other will I ever listen. But I have to ask three 
things. First, he shall give for me as my ladies and companions ten 
virgins of the noblest blood in his kingdom, and to each of these a thou- 
sand attendants, and to me also a thousand maidens to wait on me. 
Secondly, he shall permit me for the space of three years to honour my 
virginity, and, with my companions, to visit the holy shrines where 
repose the bodies of the saints. And my third demand is, that the 
prince and his court shall receive baptism; for other than a perfect 
Christian I cannot wed.' 

" Now you shall understand that this wise princess, Ursula, made 
these conditions, thinking in her heart, * either the King of England 
will refuse these demands, or, if he grant them, then eleven thousand 
virgins are redeemed and dedicated to the service of God.' The ambas- 
sadors, being dismissed with honour, returned to their own country, 
where they made such a report of the unequalled beauty and wisdom of 
the princess that the king thought no conditions too hard, and the prince 
his son was inflamed by desire to obtain her ; so he commanded himself 
to be forthwith baptised ; and the king wrote letters to all his vassals in 
his kingdom of France, in Scotland, and in the province of Cornwall, 
to all his princes, dukes, counts, barons, and noble knights, desiring that 
they would send him the required number of maidens^ spotless and 
beautiful, and of noble birth, to wait on the princess Ursula, who was 
to wed his heir the Porince Conon ; and from all parts these noble virgins 
came trooping, fair and accomplished in all female learning, and attired 
in rich garments, wearing jewels of gold and silver. Being assembled 
in Brittany, in the capital of King Theonotus, Ursula received them 
not only with great gladness and courtesy, but with a sisterly tender- 
ness, and with thanksgiving, praising God that so many of her own sex 
had been redeemed from the world's vanities: and the fame of this 
noble assembly of virgins having gone forth to all the countries round 
about, the barons and knights were gathered together from east and 
west to view this spectacle ; and you may think how much they 
were amazed and edified by the sight of so much beauty and so much 

" Now when Ursula had collected all her virgins together, on a fresh 
and fair morning in the spring time, she desired them to meet in a 


meadow near the city, which meadow was of the freshest green, all over 
enamelled with the brightest flowers ; and she ascended a throne which 
was raised in the midst, and preached to all the assembled virgins of 
things concerning the glory of God, and of his Son our Lord and 
Saviour, with wonderful eloquence ; and of Christian charity, and of a 
pure and holy life dedicated to Heaven. And all these virgins, being 
moved with a holy zeal, wept, and, lifting up their hands and their 
voices, promised to follow her whithersoever she should lead. And she 
blessed them and comforted them ; and as there were many among them 
who had never received baptism, she ordered that they should be 
baptised in the clear stream which flowed through that flowery meadow. 
" Then Ursula called for a pen, and wrote a letter to her bridegroom, 
the son of the King of England, saying, that as he had complied with 
all her wishes and fulfilled all her demands, he had good leave to wait 
upon her forthwith. So he, as became a true knight, came immediately ; 
and she received him with great honour ; and, in presence of her father, 
she said to him, * Sir, my gracious prince and consort, it has been 
revealed to me in a vision that I must depart hence on my pilgrimage 
to visit the shrines in the holy city of Rome, with these my companions ; 
thou meanwhile shalt remain here to comfort my father and assist him 
in his government till my return ; or if God should dispose of me other- 
wise, this kingdom shall be yours by right.' Some say that the prince 
remained, but others relate that he accompanied her on her voyage ; 
however this may be, the glorious virgin embarked with all her maidens 
on board a fleet of ships prepared for them, and many holy prelates 
accompanied them. There were no sailors on board, and it was a 
wonder to see with what skill these wise virgins steered the vessels and 
managed the sails, being miraculously taught; we must therefore suppose 
that it was by no mistake of theirs, but by the providence of God, that 
they sailed to the north instead of the south, and were driven by the 
winds into the mouth of the Rhine as far as the port of Cologne. Here 
they reposed for a brief time, during which it was revealed to St 
Ursula, that on her return she and her companions should on that spot 
suflfcr martyrdom for the cause of God: all which she made known 
to her companions ; and they all together lifted up their voices in 
hymns of thanksgiving that they should be found worthy so to die. 


" So they proceeded on their voyage up the river till they came to 
the city of Basil ; there they disembarked, and crossed over the high 
mountains into the plains of Liguria. Over the rocks and snows of the 
Alps they were miraculously conducted, for six angels went before them 
perpetually, cleariug the road from all impediments, throwing bridges 
over the mountain torrents, and every night pitching tents for their 
shelter and refreshment So they came at length to the river Tiber, 
and, descending the river, they reached Rome, that famous city, where 
U the holy shrine of St Peter and St Paul. 

" In those days was Cyriacus bishop of Rome : he was famous for 
his sanctity ; and hearing of the arrival of St Ursula and all her fair 
and glorious company of maidens, he was, as you may suppose, greatly 
amazed and troubled in mind, not knowing what it might portend. So 
he went out to meet them, with all his clergy in procession. When 
St Ursula, kneeling down before him, explained to him the cause of 
her coming, and implored his blessing for herself and her companions, 
who can express his admiration and contentment 1 He not only gave 
them his blessing, but commanded that they should be honourably 
lodged and entertained ; and, to preserve their maidenly honour and 
decorum, tents were- pitched for them outside the walls of the city on 
the plain towards Tivoli. 

'^ Now it happened that the valiant son of King Agrippinus, who 
had been left in Brittany, became every day more and more impatient 
to learn some tidings of his princess-bride, and at length he resolved to 
set out in search of her ; and, by a miracle, he had arrived in the city 
of Rome on the self-same day, but by a diflferent route. Being happily 
reunited, he knelt with Ursula at the feet of Cyriacus and received 
baptism at his hands, changing his name from Conon to that of Ethereus^ 
to express the purity and regeneration of his soul. He no longer 
aspired to the possession of Ursula, but fixed his hope on sharing with 
her the crown of martyrdom on earth, looking to a perpetual reunion 
in heaven, where neither sorrow nor separation should touch them 

** After this blessed company had duly performed their devotions at 
the shrine of St Peter and St Paul, the good Cyriacus would fain 
have detained them longer; but Ursula showed him that it was neces- 

VOL,. 1 L Q 


sary they should depart in order io receive the crown * already laid up 
for them in heaven.' When the bishop heard this, he resolved to ac- 
company her. In vain his clergy represented that it did not become a 
p:>pe of Rome and a man of venerable years to run after a company of 
maidens, however immaculate they might be. Cyriacus had been coun- 
selled by an angel of God, and he made ready to set forth and embark 
with them on the river Rhine. 

** Now it happened that there were at Rome in those days two great 
Roman captains, cruel heathens, who commanded all the imperial troops 
in Germania. They, being astonished at the sight of this multitude of 
virgins, said one to the other, ' Shall we suffer this? If we allow these 
Christian maidens to return to Germania, they will convert the whole 
nation; or if they marry husbands, then they will have so many children 
— no doubt all Christians — that our empire will cease ; therefore let 
us take counsel what is best to be done.' So these wicked pagans con- 
sulted together, and wrote letters to a certain barbarian king of the 
Iluns, who was then besieging Cologne, and instructed him what he 
should do. 

" Meantime St. Ursula and her virgins, with her husband and his 
faithful knights, prepared to embark : with them "went Pope Cyriacus, 
and in his train Vincenzio and Giacomo, cardinals ; and Solfino, arch- 
bishop of Ravenna ; and Folatino, bishop of Lucca ; and the bishop of 
Faenza, and the patriarch of Grado, and many other prelates : and after 
a long and perilous journey they arrived in the port of Cologne. 

" They found the city besieged by a great army of barbarians en- 
camped on a plain outside the gates. These pagans, seeing a number 
of vessels, filled, not with fierce warriors, but beautiful virgins, unarmed 
youths, and venerable bearded men, stood still at first, staring with 
amazement ; but after a short pause, remembering their instructions, 
they rushed upon the unresisting victims. One of the first who perished 
was the Prince Ethereus, who fell, pierced through by an arrow, at the 
feet of his beloved princess. Then Cyriacus, the cardinals, and several 
barons, sank to the earth, or perished in the stream. When the men 
were despatched, the fierce barbarians rushed upon the virgins just as a 
pack of gaunt hungry wolves might fall on a flock of milk-white iambs. 
Finding that the noble maidens resisted their brutality, their rage was 

ST. URSULA. 500 

excited, and they drew their swords and massacred them all. Then 
was it worthy of all admiration to behold these illustrious virgins, who 
had struggled to defend their virtue, now meekly resigned, and ready 
as sheep for the slaughter, embracing and encouraging each other ! Oli, 
then 1 had you seen the glorious SL Ursula, worthy to be the captain 
and leader of this army of virgin martyrs, how she flew from one to the 
other, heartening them with brave words to die for their faith and 
honour ! Inspired by her voice, her aspect, they did not quail, but 
offered themselves to death ; and thus by hundreds and by thousands 
they perished, and the plain was strewed with their limbs and ran in 
rivers with their blood. But the barbarians, awed by the majestic 
beauty of St. Ursula, had no power to strike her, but carried her before 
their prince, who, looking on her with admiration, said to her, * Weep 
not, for though thou hast lost thy companions, I will be thy husband, 
and thou shalt be the greatest queen in all Germany.' To which St. 
Ursula, all glowing with indignation and a holy scorn, replied, « O thou 
cruel man ! — blind and senseless as thou art cruel ! thinkest thou I can 
weep ? or dost thou hold me so base, so cowardly, that I would consent 
to survive my dear companions and sisters ? Thou art deceived, O son 
of Sathan ! for I defy thee, and him whom thou servest 1 ' When the 
proud pagan heard these words, he was seized with fury, and bending 
his bow, which he held in his hand, he, with three arrows, transfixed 
her pure breast, so that she fell dead, and her spirit ascended into 
heaven, with all the glorious sisterhood of martyrs whom she had led to 
death, and with her betrothed husband and his companions : and there, 
with palms in their hands and crowns upon their heads, they stand 
round the throne of Christ ; and live in his light and in his approving 
smile, blessing him and praising him for ever. — Amen ! " 

In devotional pictures of St. Ursula, the usual attributes are — the 
crown as princess, the arrow as martyr, and the pilgrim's staff, sur- 
mounted by the white banner with the red cross, the Christian standard 
of victory. She has also a dove, because a dove revealed to St. Cuni- 
bert where she was buried. There is great variety in these representa- 
tions of St. Ursula ; and I shall give some examples. 

1. As patron saint, she stands alone, wearing the royal crown, attired 

Q 2 


in a riohly embroidered robe, and over it a scarlet mantle lined with 
ermine ; in one band a book, in tbe otber an arrow. This, I tbiok, is 
tbe usual manner, varied of course in expression and deportment by the ■ 
taste of the artist. 

2. She stands as patron saint, a majestic figure, in a rich dreaa with 
regal omamente, a green or scarlet mantle lined with ermine ; in one 
hand her arrow, and in the other her banner with the red cross. This 
is the Venetian idea of St Ursula. She b thus represented by Cima 
da ConegUano, Carpaccio, and Palma Vecchio. 

3. This sketch, from a Spanish 
St. Ursula, will give some idea of 
tbe very peculiar style of Zurba- 
ran. (130) 

4. As martyr, she is kneeling or 
standing, her golden hair flowing 
upon her shoulders, sometimes 
crowned, sometimes not; her hands 
clasped, her bosom transfixed by an 
arrow ; around her, on the ground, 
her maidens dead. She is thus re- 
presented in a most exquisite minia- 
ture in the " Heures d'Anne de 
Bretf^e ; " and also in a large 
print after Lorenzini, in which she 
stands crowned with her standard 
of victory, and a steadfast triumph- 
ant expression, while her attendant 
virgins are martyred in the back- 
ground. ,„ st-UrKiU. (ZurW«.) 

5. She is standing, or seated on 

a raised throne or pedestal ; her hair bound by a fillet of gems ; her 
arrow in her hand ; on each side several of her virgin compnnions, two 
of whom bear standards ; as in a picture by Martino da Udine, wherein 
the idea of an immense and indefinite number ia well conveyed by au 
open door or porch on each side, from which the virgins appear to 

' Milan, Breru. 


6. She is standing, holding open witli both hands her wide and 
ermined m<mtlc; underneath its shelter are many virgins wearing 
crowns. She is here the patroness of young maidens in general, and is 
thus represented in a very curious picture by Caterina da Vigri, who 
■was herself a s^nt, perhaps the only female artist who was ever canon- 
ized, and whose story is given among the Monastic Legends. (129) 

7. In the famous altar-piece of 
the Cathedral of Cologne, St. Ur- 
sula is standing, gorgeously crowned 
and attired, and surrounded by her 
train of viigina. 

8. She stands to the left of the 
Virgin, crowned with flowers, and 
holding a dove : in a Madonna pic- 
ture by Brusasorci.' 

9. She is standing, with one or 
more arrows in one hand, and a 
book in the other. Around her, 
or sheltered under the wide ample 
folds of her royal robe, which is 
sometimes held open by angels, a 
number of young girls, some hold- 
ing their books, others conning their 
tasks, others clasping their hands 
in adoration. She is here the es|>e- 
cial patroness of school-girls, and is 
thus represented by Lorenzo di 
Credi, by Hans Hemling, and I. von 

10. The marble statue of St Ur- 
sula, lying dead with the dove at 
her feet, is very beautiful *, and is 
atdd to have suggested to Ruuch 
the pose of his reclining statue of 

Queen Louisa of Prussia. '^' ^ ''""''■ '""" *" "*' '"'"' 

' LoDvrc, No. 34S- ' Cologne. Ch. of St. Ursula. 


It is an exception when in devotional pictures of St. Ursula the 
Prince Ethereus is introduced, as in a beautiful group by Hans Burg- 
mair, where she is throned with her husband, both in sumptuous robes, 
and her virgins in the background^ 

We must be careful not to confound St. Ursula either with St. 
Christina or with St. Keparata. A female saint, with an arrow in her 
hand or in her bosom, and no other attribute, may represent St. Chris- 
tina ; but Christina is never seen with the regal ornament?. In the 
Florentine pictures St Reparata has the crown, the ermined robe, and 
the standard of victory, but never the arrow. Reparata has also the 
palm ; while in pictures of St. Ursula the palm is often replaced by the 
standard or the arrow. 

The separate historical subjects from hei: life are confined to two — 
her voyage, and her martyrdom. 

1. In a bark, with swelling sails, St Ursula is seated, wearing her 
crown ; she holds a large open book, and is either reading, or chanting 
hymns ; a number of virgins are seated round her, some with musical 
instruments, others reading: at the helm, one of the virgins; sometimes, 
however, it is a priest or a winged angel. Of this beautiful subject I 
have seen few examples, and those anonymous, principally drawings or 
miniatures. If taken in its allegorical signification, as the religious 
voyage over the ocean of life, — Faith at the prow, and Charity at the 
helm, — the representation becomes mystical and devotional rather than 
historical, particularly where angels are introduced as steering or pro- 
pelling the vessel. 

2. The Martyrdom of St Ursula is represented in two ways : either 
she and her maidens are massacred on board her vessel ; or she has 
landed, and presents herself to the enemy : in either case she is shot 
with arrows by a soldier (it is a deviation from the legend, as generally 
accepted, when St. Ursula perishes by the sword and not the arrow) ; 
the barbarian general stands by. Her virgins and companions are lying 
dead around her, or the slaughter is going on in the background ; and 
the locality is usually expressed by the well-known tower, or the 
cathedral of Cologne in the distance. 

' Augsburg. Dibilin's Decameron, vol. iii. p. 213. 

ST. URSULA. 518 

There is a little picture in the collection of Prince Wallerstein, now 
in Kensington Palace, in which St Ursula has just stepped on the 
shore, a sort of a quay with buildings ; she is attired like a princess, her 
hands meekly joined, her long golden hair flowing down on her shoulders, 
and in her face a most divine expression of mild melancholy resignation : 
two of her maidens bear her train behind, and seem to encourage each 
other; two soldiers in rich warlike costume are bending their bows; the 
massacre goes forward in the distance. 

The history of St. Ursula treated as a series occurs frequently in the 
stiiined glass and Gothic sculpture of the thirteenth and fourteenth 
centuries. In painting we have two renowned examples; the first 
Itjilian, the second Flemish ; and both nearly contemporary. 

The earliest work of Vittore Carpaccio in Venice was the magnificent 
series of the life of St. Ursula, painted, in 1490, for the chapel of the 
^Scuola di Sant Orsola, a beneficent institution, founded for the support 
and education of female orphans, consequently placed under the protec- 
tion of the patron saint of maidenhood. Carpaccio has taken the prin- 
cipal incidents of her life in the following order : — 

1. The arrival of the ambassadors of the King of England, to require 
the hand of the Princess Ursula for his son. The King of Brittany 
receives them seated on a splendid throne, and surrounded by his 
attendants ; in a compartment to the right the king is again seen leaning 
his head on his hand in a melancholy mood, and Ursula, standing before 
her father, appears to comfort him : on the steps leading to the chamber 
sits an old duenna. 

2. The King of Brittany dismisses the ambassadors of the King of 
England with the conditions imposed by advice of his daughter. In a 
compartment to the right, St. Ursula is seen sleeping on her bed : she 
has a vision of the crown of martyrdom prepared for her. 

3. The ambassadors of the King of England return with the answer 
of the Princess Ursula, and the king's son declares his intention of going 
to seek her. 

4. On one side is seen the meeting beween the Prince of England 
and his bride St. Ursula. On the other side they take leave of the 
King of Brittany to embark on their pilgrimage ; the ships are seen in 
the background, with a great company of nobles and virgins. 


5. St. Ursula, with her virgins and her companions, arrives at the 
port of Cologne. 

6. St. Ursula, with the prince her husband, and the virgins her com- 
panions, arrives at Rome ; they are met outside the gates of the city by 
the Pope Cyriacus, attended by the cardinals and bishops. She and 
the prince are seen kneeling at the feet of the Pope : two attendants 
behind carry the royal crowns. The virgins with the pilgrims and their 
banners are seen following ; in the distance the Castle of St. Angelo, 
which marks the locality. 

7. The martyrdom of St. Ursula and her companions at Cologne on 
one side : on the other is seen the interment of the saint ; she is repre- 
sented extended on the bier with her long golden hair, the bodies of 
other virgins follow in the distance. 

8. The glorification*of St Ursula. She is seen standing on a kind 
of pedestal of green boughs, formed of the palms of the eleven thousand 
virgins bound together; she looks up, her hair flowing over her 
shoulders, and her hands joined in prayer ; six little angels hover round 
her, two of them hold over her head the celestial crown. On each side 
kneels a virgin with a banner, and there are about thirty other kneeling 
figures ; among them Pope Cyriacus, and several prelates : all the heads 
are full of beauty, life, and character. The background is a landscape 
seen through lofty arches. The figures throughout wear the Venetian 
costume of the fifteenth century. 

The richness of fancy, the lively dramatic feeling, the originality and 
naivetd with which the story is told, render this series one of the most 
interesting examples of early Venetian Art. Zanetti says that he used 
to go to the chapel of St* Ursula and conceal himself, to observe the effect 
which these pictures produced on the minds of the people as expressed 
in their countenances. " I myself," he adds, " could hardly turn away 
my eyes from that charming figure of the saint, where, asleep on her 
maiden couch, — all grace, purity, and innocence, — she seems, by the 
expression on her beautiful features, to be visited by dreams from 
paradise." ' 

' A set of old engravings from this series has been latelj purchased for the Print-room of 
the British Museum. 

ST. URSULA. 616 

About the same period^ Hans Hemling painted the magnificent shrine 
of St. Ursula in St. John's Hospital at Bruges. It is a Gothic chest or 
casket constructed to contain the arm of the saint^ and adorned with a 
series of miniatures. The incidents selected by Hemling are not pre- 
cisely those chosen by Vittore Carpaccio. He appears to have confined 
himself to her pilgrimage and her martyrdom : — 

1. St. Ursula and her companions arrive at Cologne on their way to 
Borne. Ursula, in the attire of a princess, her hair braided with jewels, 
is in the act of stepping on shore ; one of her virgins holds up her train, 
another holds out her arm to support and assist her. A number of her 
companions are seen entering the gates of the city ; the cathedral and 
the towers of Cologne are in the background. 

2. The arrival of St Ursula and her companions at Basle. In the 
foreground of the picture are two vessels crowded with female figures. 
In the background the city and cathedral of Basle ; and in the extreme 
distance the Alps, towards which the virgins are seen travelling along a 

3. The arrival of St. Ursula at Bome. The Pope receives her undei 
the portico of a church, and gives her his benediction; behind her 
kneels the bridegroom-prince ; on the other side is seen the baptism of 
several of the prince's companions, and in the background St. Ursula is 
seen confessing, and receiving the sacrament. 

4. The second arrival in the neighbourhood of Basle. Two vessels 
in ihe foregroimd, on board of which are seen St. Ursula with her 
husband, and Pope Cyriacus with a number of his prelates. Some of 
the virgins are seen going off in a boat. 

5. The massacre of the pilgrims on their arrival at Cologne. The 
two vessels are seen crowded with the martyrs ; soldiers in the fore- 
ground are shooting at them with crossbows ; a fierce soldier is seen 
plunging his sword into the bosom of the Prince of England, who falls 
into the arms of St. Ursula. 

6. The martyrdom of St Ursula. She is standing before the tent of 
the general of the barbarians ; a number of soldiers are around ; one of 
them, with his bow bent, prepares to transfix her. 

Kugler's account of these subjects is not quite accurate; but his 
praise of the beauty of the execution, and the truth of feeling and ex- 
VOL. ir. R 


pression in some of the heads^ is perfectly just They are each about 
eighteen inches high, — historical pictures finished with all the precision 
and delicacy of a miniature on vellum. There is a good set of engrav- 
ings (coloured after the originals) in the British Museum. 

I saw in the H8tel de Cluny at Paris two curious pictures from the 
story of St. Ursula. In the first, the King of England sends ambas- 
sadors to the King of Brittany ; in the second, the ambassadors are 
received by the King of Brittany, and Ursula, seated on a throne 
beside her father, delivers her answer to their request. The artist has 
taken great pains to distinguish the heathen and barbarous court of 
England from the civilised and Christian court of Brittany. 

St. Margaret. 

JtaL Santa Margarita. Fr. Sainte Marguerite. Ger. Die Heilige Margaretha. Patron saiot 
of women in childbirth. Patroness of Cremona. July 20. a.d. 30C. 

TuE legend of St Margaret, which is of Greek origin, was certainly 
known in Europe as early as the fifth century, being among those which 
were repudiated as apocryphal by Pope Gelasius in 494. From that 
time we hear little of her till the eleventh century, when her l^end and 
her name — which signifies a pearl, and has been given to that little 
lowly flower we call the daisy — were both introduced from the East by 
the first crusaders, and soon became popular all over Europe.^ In the 
fourteenth century we find her one of the most favourite s^nts, parti- 
cularly amongst women, by whom she was invoked against the piuns of 
childbirth. She was also the chosen type of female innocence and 
meekness ; — the only one of the four great patronesses who is not 
represented as profoundly learned : — 

*' Mild Margarcte, that was Qod's maid ; 

" Maid Margarete, that was so meckc and mild ; 

* The first personage of distinction in Europe who hore this name was Margaret, the sister 
of Edgar Atheling, and Queen of Malcohn III. of Scotland. She receiyed the name in 
Hungary, where she was born in 1046, and introduced it into the west of Europe. She was 
herself canonized as a Eaint, and so greatly beloved in England and Scotland, that it contri- 
buted, perhaps, to render the name popular : — there were then as many Margarets as there 
arc now Victorias. 


and other such phrases^ in the old metrical legends, show the feeling 
with which she was regarded, * 

Her story is singularly wild. She was the daughter of a priest of 
Antioch, named Theodosius; and in her infancy, being of feeble health, 
she was sent to a nurse in the country. This woman, who was secretly 
a Christian, brought up Margaret in the true faith. The holy maid, 
while employed in keeping the few sheep of her nurse, meditated on 
the mysteries of the Gospel, and devoted herself to the service of Christ. 
One day the governor of Antioch, whose name was Olybrius, in passing 
by the place, saw her, and was captivated by her beauty. He com- 
manded that she should be carried to his palace, being resolved, if she 
were of free birth, to take her for his wife ; but Margaret rejected his 
offers with scorn, and declared herself the servant of Jesus Christ Her 
father and all her relations were struck with horror at this revelation. 
They fled, leaving her in the power of the governor, who endeavoured 
to subdue her constancy by the keenest torments : they were so terrible 
that the tyrant himself, unable to endure the sight, covered his face 
with his robe ; but St. Margaret did not quail beneath them. Then 
she was dragged to a dungeon, where Satan, in the form of a terrible 
dragon, came upon her with his inflamed and hideous mouth wide open, 
and sought to terrify and confound her ; but she held up the cross of 
the Kedeemer, and he fled before it. Or, according to the more popular 
version, he swallowed her up alive, but immediately burst; and she 
emerged unhurt : another form of the familiar allegory — the power of 
sin overcome by the power of the cross. He returned in the form of a 
man, to tempt her further ; but she overcame him, and, placing her foot 
on his head, forced him to confess his foul wickedness, and to answer to 
her questions. She was again brought before the tyrant, and, again 
refusing to abjure her faith, she was further tortured ; but the sight of 
so much constancy in one so young and beautiful only increased the 
number of converts, so that in one day five thousand were baptized, and 
declared themselves ready to die with her. Therefore the governor 
took counsel how this might be prevented, and it was advised that she 
should be beheaded forthwith. And as they led her forth to death, she 
thanked and glorified God that her travail was ended ; and she prayed 

* There are no less than 238 churches in England deilicated in her honour. 

B 2 


that those who invoked her in the p^ns of childbirth should find help 
through the merit of her sufferings, and in memory of her deliverance 
from the womb of the great dragon. A voice from heaven assured her 
that her prayer was granted ; so she went and received joyfully the 
crown of martyrdom, being beheaded by the sword. 

In devotional pictures, the attribute of St. Margaret is the dn^n. 
She is usually trampling Mm under her feet, holding up the cross in 
her hand. Sometimes the dragon is bound with a cord ; or his jawe 

SuKarivet. (Liku t. LerileD.) 

are distended as if to swallow her ; or he is seen rent and burst, and St. 
Margaret stands upon him unharmed, — as in the old metrical legend in 
the Auchinleck MSS. : — 


** Maiden Margrcte tho [tAcn] 
Lokcd her beside, 
And sees a loathly dragon 
Out of an him [comer'] glide : 
His eyen were fal griesly, 
His mouth opened wide. 
And Margrete might no where flee, 
There she must abide. 

** Maiden Margrete 
Stood still as any stone. 
And that loathly worm. 
To her- ward gan gone. 
Took her in his foul mouth, 
And swallowed her flesh and bone. 
Anon he brast — 
Damage hath she none ! 
Maiden Margrete 
Upon the dragon stood ; 
Blyth was her harte. 
And joyful was her mood." 

This is literally the picture which, in several instances, the artistj? 
have placed before us. (133) 

As martyr she bears, of right, the palm and the crown ; and these, 
in general, serve to distinguish St. Margaret from St. Martha, who ha^^ 
also the attributes of the dragon and the cross.' Here, however, setting 
the usual attributes aside, the character ought to be so distinctly marked, 
that there should be no possibility of confounding the beautiful and 
deified heroine of a spiritual warfare, with the majestic maturity and 
staid simplicity of Martha. 

In some pictures St. Margaret has a garland of pearls round her 
head, in allusion to her name ; and I have seen one picture, and only 
one, in which she wears a garland of daisies, and carries daisies in her 
lap and in her hand.^ 

I shall now give some examples of St. Margaret treated devotionally. 

1. The famous St. Margaret of Raphael (in the Louvre) was painted 

for Francis I., in compliment to his sister, Margaret of Navarre. It 

* V. p. 382. • Siena Acad. 


represents the B.iint in the moment of victoiy, just stepping forward 
with a. buoyant and triumphant fur, in which there is also something 
exquisitely sweet and girlish; one foot on the wing of the dn^on, 
which crouches open-mouthed beuenth: her right hand holds the p&lm, 
her left sustains her robe. The face ia youthful, mild, and beautiful ; 
the hur without ornament ; the simplicity and elegance of the whole 
figure quite worthy of Raphael, whose aim has evidently been to place 
before us an allegory, and not an action : it te innocence triumphant over 

the power of sin. Tlic St. Margaret in the Vienna Gallery, which has 
been styled by Paesavant and others a duplicate of this famous picture, 
is no duplicate, but altogether a different composition. Tlie face is in 

8T. MARGAE£T. 521 

profile, the attitude rather forced, and she holds the crucifix, instead of 
the palm. It is no doubt by Giulio Bomano, and one of the many 
instances in which he took an idea from Raphael and treated it in his 
own manner. 

2. Parmigiano. The altar-piece, painted for the Giusti Chapel in 
the Convent of St, Margaret, at Bologna ; it represents her kneeling, 
and caressing the Infant Christ, who is seated in the lap of his mother ; 
behind the Virgin sits St. Augustine, and on the other side is St. 
Jerome ; at the feet of St. Margaret is seen the dragon, open-inouthed, 
as usuaL 

3. Lucas V. Leyden. She is in a rich dress, stiff with embroidery, 
and reading a book ; while seen, as crouching under the skirt of her 
robe, is the head of the dragon, which the painter has endeavoured, and 
not in vain, to render as hideous, as terrible, and as real as possible : in 
consequence, the effect is disagreeable : but the picture is wonderfully 
painted. In another example by the same painter, she has issued from 
the back of the dragon, holding the cross, through which she has con- 
quered, in her hand (133) : a part of her robe in the jaws of the dragon 
signifies that he had just swallowed her up.^ 

4. Luca PennL She is trampling on the demon in human shape, 
which is unusual Her martyrdom is seen in the background.^ 

5. Annibal CaraccL She is leaning on a pedestal in a meditative 
attitude, holding the Gospel ; the dragon at her feet« A majestic figure 

6. Nicol6 Poussin. She is kneeling on the vanquished dragon with 
extended arms, while two angels crown her.* 

Historical pictures of St. Margaret are uncommon. 

In the Christian Museum in the Vatican there is a St. Margaret, 
standing, in green drapery, richly embroidered with gold flowers, and 
bearing the cross: the dragon, here extremely small, is beneath her 
feet. Around are nine small compartments : in the upper one, Christ 
in the sepulchre, with the Virgin and St. John ; and on each side, four 
historical subjects. 1. St. Margaret, keeping sheep, is seen by the 
governor of Antioch. 2. She is brought before him, and declares her 

* Munich Gal. ' Copenhagen. ' Sutherland GaL * Turin Gal. 


faith. She is in pmon, and visited by the Holy Spirit (or peace) in 
form of a dove. 4. She is tortured cruelly, being suspended on a 
gallows, while cxecutionera tear her with prongs. 5. She is swallowed 
up by the dragon in her dungeon. 6. She is in a caldron of boiling 
pitch. 7. She ia decapitated. 8. Miracles are performed at her 

We find the same selection of subjects in the ancient etuned glass. 

Vida has celebrated St Margaret in two Latin hymns. 

In the four illustrious virgin-eaints I have just described, there is an 
individuality, which is strongly marked in their respective legends, and 
which ought to have been attended to in works of art, though we seldom 
find it so. The distinctive character should be, in St. Catherine, dignity 
and intellect; in St. Barbara, fortitude and a resolute but reflecting tar 
— she, too, was a savante ; in St. Ursula, a devout enthusiasm, tempered 
with benignity ; in St. Margaret, meekness and innocence,— 

" Si donee cat la Morgnerice." 

1R Aog*). <Guidniiia Ken 



When, in the daily service of our Church, we repeat these words of the 
sublime hymn, I wonder sometimes whether it be with a full apprecia- 
tion of their meaning ? whether we do really reflect on all that this 
noble army of martyrs hath conquered for us ? — Did they indeed glorify 
God through their courage, and seal their faith in their Redeemer with 
their blood? And if it be so, how is it that we Christians have learned 
to look coldly upon the eflSgies of those who sowed the seed of the 
harvest which we have reaped ? — Sanguis martyrum semen Christiano^ 
rum I We may admit that the reverence paid to them in former. days ^ 
was unreasonable and excessive ; that credulity and ignorance have in 
many instances falsified the actions imputed to them ; that enthusiasm 
has magnified their numbers beyond all belief; that when the commu- 
nion with martyrs was associated with the presence of their material 
remains, the passion for relics led to a thousand abuses, and the belief 
in their intercession to a thousand superstitions. But why, in uprooting 
the false, uproot also the beautiful and the true ? Surely it is a thing 
not to be set aside or forgotten, that generous men and meek women, 
strong in the strength and elevated by the sacrifice of a Redeemer, did 
suffer, did endure, did triumph for the truth's sake, did leave us an 
example which ought to make our hearts glow within us, in admiration 
and gratitude I Surely, then, it is no unfit employment for the highest 
powers of Art, that of keeping alive their blessed and heroic memory ; 
and no desecration of our places of worship, that their eflSgies, truly, or 
at least worthily, expressed, should be held up to our veneration, and 
the story of their sublime devotion sometimes brought to remembrance. 
And this was the opinion strongly expressed by Dr. Arnold, whom no 
one, I suppose, will suspect of a leaning towards the idolatrous ten- 
dencies of Art. In speaking of a visit which he paid to the church of 
San Stefano at Rome, he remarks, — " No doubt many of the particular 

VOL. II. 8 


stories thus painted will bear no critical examination ; it is likely enough^ 
too, that Gibbon has truly accused the general statements of exaggera- 
tion. But this is a thankless labour. Divide the sum total of reported 
martyrs by twenty — by fifty if you will ; after all, you have a number 
of persons of all ages and sexes suffering cruel torments and death for 
conscience' sake, and for Christ's ; and by their sufferings manifestly 
with God's blessing ensuring the triumph of Christ's Gospel. Neither 
do I think that we consider the excellence of this martyr-spirit half 
enough. I do not think that pleasure is a sin ; but though pleasure is 
not a sin, yet surely the contemplation of suffering for Christ's sake is 
a thing most needful for us in our days, from whom in our daily life 
suffering seems so far removed. And as God's grace enabled rich and 
delicate persons, women and even children, to endure all extremities of 
pain and reproach, in times past ; so there is the same grace no less 
mighty now ; and if we do not close ourselves against it, it might be in 
us no less glorified in a time of trial." 

And why, indeed, should we shut up our hearts against such in- 
fluences, and force ourselves to regard as a snare, what ought to be a 
source of divine comfort and encouragement — of power, for the awaken- 
ing up of those whose minds are absorbed in selfish sorrows, or for the 
strengthening of those who even now are contending for the truth 
among us, and who perish martyrs, because there prevails some form of 
social idolatry, against which they resist unto death I 

Not that I quite sympathise with the occasion which gave rise to the 
above beautiful passage in Dr. Arnold's journal. However I may 
admire the sentiments expressed, to my taste martyrdoms are abhorrent, 
and I remember that I never entered the church of San Stefano without 
being sick at heart : those dolorous and sanguinary death-scenes, which 
make its walls hideous, are no more fitted for spiritual edification, than 
the spectacle of public executions avails to teach humanity and respect 
for the law. It is, however, a circiunstance worthy of remark, as true 
now, and truer in the middle ages, that the sympathy of the lower 
orders was less excited by the apparatus of physical agony than by the 
bearing of the victim. To them the indomitable courage, the patient 
endurance, the glorious triumph, of the sufferer were more than the 
stake, the wheel, the rack, the scourge, the knife. The former were 


heart-soothingy soul-lifting, light-giving I the latter had been rendered 
by the Eccellinos, the Visconti, and other insane monsters of those days, 
mere commonplaces, the daily spectacle of real life. The most beautiful 
and edifying representations of the martyrs are not those which place 
them before us agonised under the lash or the knife of the executioner, 
but those in which they look down upon us from their serene beatitude, 
— their work done, their triumph accomplished, holding their victorious 
pahn and wearing their crown of glory ; while the story of their suffer- 
ings is suggested to the memory by the accompanying attribute — the 
sword, the arrow, or the wheel. 

The writers of Church history reckon ten persecutions during three 
hundred years which elapsed between the reign of Nero, and that of 
Constantine, and the saints who suffered within this period are comme- 
morated as the early martyrs. I have not, in the subsequent essays, 
arranged them chronologically; for any such arrangement, with reference 
to Art, could have produced nothing but confusion. The principle of 
association through which certain of these personages will be found 
grouped together under particular circumstances, in particular localities, 
is infinitely more suggestive and poetical ; and I have endeavoured to 
follow it out, as far as this could be done with any regard to order. But 
is it not unaccountable, and matter of regret as well as wonder, that 
some of the best-authenticated and most edifying of the early martyr- 
doms should be comparatively unknown as subjects of Art ? In all the 
histories of the Christian Church, whether written by Protestant or 
Catholic, we find the mild heroism of Vivia Perpetua and the slave 
Felicitas, — the eloquence and courage of Justin, who exchanged the 
title oi Philosopher for that oi Martyr^ — the fortitude of the aged Poly- 
carp, — duly and honourably recorded. All these stories are beautifully 
narrated in Mr. Milman's ** History of Christianity ;" and I recommend 
them to the attention of those of our painters who may be seeking for 
incidents and characters connected with the history of our faith, at once 
new in Art, and unexceptionable in point of authenticity. 

It appears that the first seven persecutions were local or accidental. 
It was in the reign of Hadrian that the populace first began to demand 
that the Christians should be put to death at the great festivals ; an 
example having been already recorded in the reign of Trajan, when St. 

B 2 


Ignatius was thrown to the lions. Yet Hadrian^ though incapable of 
comprehending or appreciating the spirit of Christianity, defended the 
Christians, and placed them under the protection of the laws. The first 
general persecution by imperial decree was in the reign of Decius, in 
which many Christians were martyred, and many also fell from the 
faith. The tenth and last persecution, under Diocletian, Galerius, and 
Maximin, was the most terrible of all; the number of Christian martyrs 
who perished was undoubtedly great, but has been much exaggerated. 
Almost all the legendary inventions and spurious acts of martyrs are 
referred to these bloodthirsty tyrants, who figure in the old legends as a 
sort of Ogres, demons incarnate, existing on earth for no other purpose 
but to rage, blaspheme, and invent tortures by which to test the heroism 
and constancy of the servants of Christ 

To understand some of these stories of martyrdom, we must transport 
ourselves in fancy to the primitive ages of the Church. It was then 
the established and universal belief among Christians that infernal spirits 
were at once the authors and the objects of idolatry. It was held for 
certain that the gods of the Pagans were demons who had assumed the 
names and attributes of the popular divinities, and appropriated the 
incense offered on the altars. The Christians, therefore, believed in the 
real existence of these false gods ; but their belief was mingled with 
detestation and horror. Idolatry was to them no mere speculative 
superstition ; it was, if I may so apply the strong expression of Carlyle, 
" a truth clad in hell-fire." The slightest leaning towards the heathen 
worship was not only treason against the majesty of the true God, but 
a direct homage to those angels of darkness who had been in rebellion 
against Him from the beginning. Hence the language and bearing 
of the early martyrs were not only marked by resistance, but by abhor- 
rence and defiance ; hence a courage more than human sustained them ; 
and hence too the furious indignation of the priests and people, when 
they found their gods not merely regarded with philosophical indifference 
as images or allegories, but spurned as impure, malevolent, reprobate — 
yet living and immortal — spirits. 

The beatified martyrs were early introduced into church decoration. 



I remember two instances as particularly striking. The first is, an 
ancient mosaic in the church of Sant' ApoUinare Nuovo at Bavenna 
(a.d. 534). . On the right hand as we enter, and immediately above the 
arches of the nave, we behold a long procession of twenty-one martyrs, 
carrying their crowns in their hands ; they appear advancing towards a 
figure of our Saviour, who stands with an angel on each side, ready to 
receive them. On the wall to the left is a like procession of virgin 
martyrs, also bearing their crowns, and advancing to a figure of the 
throned Madonna, who, with an angel on each side, appears to be seated 
there to receive their homage.^ These processions extend to the 
entrance of the choir, and the figures are colossal, — I suppose about 
seven or eight feet high. They are arranged in the following 
order*: — 

St. Clement 

St. Euphemia. 

St. Ursinus. 

St. Eulalia. 

























John and 










Gervasios, and 




This list of martyrs is of very great importance, as being, I believe, 
tlie earliest in the history of Art. It shows us what martyrs were 
most honoured in the sixth century. It shows us that many names, 
then held in most honour, have since fallen into comparative neglect ; 
and that others, then unknown, or unacknowledged, have since become 
most celebrated. It will be remarked, that the virgins are led by St. 
Euphemia, and not by St. Catherine : that there is no St. Barbara, no 
St Margaret, no St George, no St Christopher ; all of whom figure 

* There is a beautiful modem imitation of this old mosaic decoration in the church of St. 
Vincent de Paul at Paris, painted in fresco by M. Flandrin. 

' According to Ciampini (v. Vetera Monumental vol. \\,\ and a note I made on the spot ; 
but, owing to a scaffolding rabed against part of the wall, it was diflicult to be accurate. 

* The proper companion of St. Daria would be St. Chrysanthus. 


conspicuously in the mosaics of Monreale at Palermo, executed five 
centuries later. In fact, of these forty-two figures executed at Kavenna, 
by Greek artists in the service of Justinian, only five — Euphemia, 
Cyprian and Justina, Poly carp, and Demetrius — are properly Greek 
saints ; all the rest are Latin saints, whose worship originated with the 
Western and not with the Eastern Church. 

In the church of Santa Prassede at Rome (a.d. 817) the arrangement 
is altogether different from that at Ravenna, and equally striking. 
Over the grand arch which separates the choir from the nave is a 
mosaic, representing the New Jerusalem, as described in the Revela- 
tions. It is a walled enclosure, with a gate at each end, guarded by 
angels. Within is seen the Saviour of the world, holding in his hand 
the orb of sovereignty ; and a company of the blessed seated on thrones : 
outside, the noble army of martyrs is seen approaching, conducted and 
received by angels. They are all arrayed in white, and carry crowns 
in their hands. Lower down on each side a host of martyrs press for- 
ward, with palms and crowns, to do homage to the Lamb, throned in 
the midst. None of the martyrs are distinguished by name, except 
those to whom the church is dedicated — Santa Prassede and her sister 
Potentiana. The peculiar propriety and sentiment of the subject as re- 
lates to them, I shall point out when treating of their legend hereafter. 

In later Art, we find that in all devotional pictures which represent 
Paradise, the Last Judgment, the Glorification of Christ, or the Coro- 
nation of the Virgin, the glorious company of beatified martyrs forms a 
part of the celestial pomp. Some of these compositions are of wonder- 
ful beauty, and much of the pleasure we derive from them will depend 
on our knowledge of the history and character of these heroes of the 
faith, and the origin of the attributes assigned to them. 

I consider it a fault when, in such pictures, the apostles figure as 
martyrs (as in Michael Angelo's Last Judgment), because they had a 
still higher claim to our veneration, and should take their place accord- 
ingly ; not with the attributes of earthly suffering, as victims ; but with 
their books as the delegated teachers of mankind. Then, next after the 


apostles, come the martyrs ; and we find that in all works of art which 
may be cited as authorities a certain order is maintained. The first 
place is usually given to St Stephen, the second to St. Laurence : when 
the Innocents are introduced, their proper place is under the throne, or 
immediately at the feet of Christ. Next to these, the most conspicuous 
figures are usually St George and St Maurice as warriors; St. Ignatius 
and St Clement as bishops ; St Christopher with his staff, and St 
Sebastian with his arrows. The martyrs venerated in the particular 
locality for which the picture was painted will also have a conspicuous 
place : for example, in the German pictures we shall probably find St 
Boniface and St Florian ;. in the Brescian pictures, St Faustinus and 
St Jovita ; while, in pictures painted for the Dominicans, Peter, the 
famous martyr of their order, is conspicuous with his bleeding head and 
hb monk's habit The female martyrs are generally placed together, 
forming a beautiful group. St Catherine, in general, takes the first 
place ; next to her St Barbara with her tower ; St. Agnes with her 
lamb; St Lucia with her lamp (or her eyes); St Cecilia crowned 
with roses ; and behind them a crowd of figures, with palms and glories, 
not otherwise individualised. In such representations the leading idea 
is obviously borrowed from that magnificent passage in the 7 th chapter 
of Revelations : " Lo 1 a great multitude, which no man could number, 
clothed with white robes, and with palms in their hands." — " These are 
they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, 
and made them white in the blood of the Lamb ; therefore are they 
before the throne of God; and he shall feed them, and shall lead 
them to living fountains of waters, and shall wipe away all tears from 
their eyes." 

TuE Innocents. 

Ital, Gli Innoccnti Fanciulli Martin. I Santi Bambini Martin. Fr, Lea Innocents. Ger. 

Die Unscbuldigen Kindlein. Dec. 28. 

The " Massacre of the Innocents," as an action or event, belongs to the 
history of our Saviour, and I shall say nothing of it here. But the In- 
nocents themselves, as personages, as the first-fruits of martyrdom. 


have been regarded with an especial homage from the earliest ages of 
the Church, Not the least divine trait in the character of the Saviour 
was the love, the reverence. He inculcated for " little children ; " and is 
there not something most natural, most touching, in the early belief 
that He would regard with peculiar favour, with a more compassionate 
tenderness, the souls of those Innocents who perished, if not in his cause, 
at least because of Him ? In their character of martyrs they find an 
appropriate place in devotional and ecclesiastical Art ; and some of these 
representations are of peculiar interest and beauty. I shall give one or 
two examples. 

In the mosaics of the old Basilica of St* Paul, at Rome, the Innocents 
are represented by a group of small figures holding palms, and placed 
immediately beneath the altar or throne, sustaining the Gospel, the 
cross, and the instruments of the passion of our Lord. Over these 
figures was the inscription Hi. S. Innocentes.* 

I saw in one of the old French cathedrals, I think at Aix, a picture, 
not good nor agreeable as a work of art, but striking from the peculiar 
conception. In the midst an altar, and on it the cross, and the lamb 
without blemish: around, on the earth, lay the martyred Innocents 
bleeding, dead ; a little higher up, their spirita were seen ascending with 
palms in their hands ; and above all, the Infant Christ, enthroned, re- 
ceived them into heaven with outstretched arms. 

In a ** Flight into Egypt," by F. Vanni, three or four martyred 
Innocents lie in the foreground.^ 

But the most beautiful devotional representation of the martyred In- 
nocents, the most appropriate, the most significant in sentiment, I could 
cite, is the altar-piece in the church of the Foundling Hospital at 
Florence (which I may observe, en passant ^ preceded by two hundred 
years the first institution of that kind in France, by more than three 
hundred the first in England^). This altar-piece represents the Virgin 
and the Infant Christ enthroned in glory ; around the throne the elect ; 
and among them, the most conspicuous are the Innocents, lovely 

' A.D. 450. Since the great fire of 1823 these mosaics have been restored. 

' Etruria Pittrice. 

' I speak of the present magnificent foumlation at Florence, dating from 1448. So early 
as 1193 there was an hospital there for poor forsaken children : the first, in all probability, 
that ever ex'isted. 


children, with every variety of sweet infantine faces, who look up to the 
Saviour as in supplication, and point to their wounds, which yet are not 
rendered too obtrusive. The sentiment conveyed is this : " Behold us, 
who have suffered because of thee, O Saviour 1 and, for our sake, have 
mercy and have pity on the forsaken little ones who are brought hither 
and laid down at thy feet I " 

There is a picture in the Louvre by Rubens, known as ** La Vierge 
aux Anges^ It represents the Virgin and Child, surrounded by a host 
of children, — for they are beatified children, not winged angels ; many 
bear palms : they are exquisite for infantine beauty, and I have some- 
times thought that Bubens must have intended them for the souls of 
the Innocents, and not for angels ; but I have no authority for this sup- 
position, and can only say that such was the impression conveyed to 
my mind.' 

St. Stephen, Deacon and Proto-marttr. 

LaL S. StephanuB. liaX, San Stefano. Fr, St. Etienne. Ger. Der Heilige Stefan. Dec. 26. 

The brief and simple account of Stephen as given in the sixth and 
seventh chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, I presume to be familiar 
to the reader. Little has been added by the fancy or the veneration of 
his votaries. He is held in the highest honour as the first who shed his 
blood in testimony to Christ, and described as a man full of faith and 
power and of the Holy Ghost Having been chosen deacon during the 
first ministry of Peter, and before the conversion of Paul, and after per- 
forming ** great wonders and miracles among the people," he was, upon 
the evidence of false witnesses, accused of speaking blasphemous words 
against the Temple and against the Jewish law — that temple which is 
now destroyed, that law which has been superseded by a diviner, a more 

' On a farther examination of this picture, I came to the conclusion that Rnhens had not 
intended to represent either the Innocents or Cherubim, but the Spirits (angels) of beatified 
children, in allusion to the text, Matt. xTiii. 10. 



universal, law of " peace on earth, and good-will towards men : " 
whereupon he was condemned to death, and stoned by the infuriated 
people outside the gates of the city. 

So far the Scripture record. The legend, which accounts for the 
discovery of his relics, and their present resting-place in the Basilica of 
San Lorenzo at Rome, is thus given : — 

" No one knew what had become of the body of the saint till about 
four hundred years afterwards ; when Lucian, a priest of Carsagamala 
in Palestine, was visited in a dream by Gamaliel, the doctor of the law 
at whose feet Paul was brought up in all the learning of the Jews; and 
Gamaliel revealed to him that after the death of Stephen he had carried 
away the body of the martyred saint, and had buried it in his own 
sepulchre, and had also deposited near to it the body of Nicodemus and 
other saints ; and this dream having been repeated three times, Lucian 
went with others deputed by the bishop, and dug with mattocks and 
spades in the spot which had been indicated, — a sepulchre in a garden, 
and found what they supposed to be the reipains of St. Stephen, their 
peculiar sanctity being proved by many miracles. These relics were 
first deposited in Jerusalem, in the church of Sion, and afterwards by 
the younger Theodosius carried to Constantinople, and thence by Pope 
Pelagius conveyed to Rome, and placed in the same tomb with St. 
Laurence. It is related, that when they opened the sarcophagus and 
lowered into it the body of St Stephen, St. Laurence moved on one 
side, giving the place of honour on the right hand to St. Stephen : 
hence the common people of Rome have conferred on St. Laurence the 
title of *^ II cortese Spagnuolo,' — ^ the courteous Spaniard.' " * 

In devotional pictures, the figure of St. Stephen, which is of constant 
recurrence, seldom varies in character, though it does so in the choice 
and arrangement of the attributes. He is generally represented young, 
of a mild and beautiful aspect, habited in the rich dress of a deacon, the 
Dalmatica being generally of crimson, covered with embroidery ; it is 
square and straight at the bottom, with loose sleeves and heavy gold 

' St. Stephen is not so popular as many saints less accredited. There arc only forty 
churches in England dedicated to him. 


tassels hanging down from the shouldcriS before and behind. He beari^ 
the palm almost invariably, as proto-martyr. The stones, which are his 
peculiar attribute, are either in his hand or in his drapery, or on hi:< 
head and shoulders, or lying at his feet ; or sometimes on the Scriptures, 
which he holds in his himd, shoning the manner of death he suffered for 
the Gospel, and in allusion also to bis preaching before his death. In 
such figures, when imperfectly executed, it 
is necessary to distinguish the three balls of 
St. Nicholas from the stones of St. Stephen. 
When the stones are introduced, and are 
palpably and indubitably atones, then it is 
impossible to mistake Stephen for any other 
sunt : but they are often omitted ; it then 
becomes difficult to distinguish St Stephen 
from St. Vincent, who also bears the palm 
and the deacon's habit In the' Scripture 
story there is no allusion to the age of 
Stephen at the time be suffered ; but in 
Italian Art he is alvvays young and beard- 
less, perhaps in allusion to the description 
of his appearance when accused: " They 
saw his face as it had been the face of an 
angel," which of course could not well 
apply ta an old or bearded man; and he 
has always a meek expression, being not 
only protomartyr, but also considered as the 
type, next to Christ, of foi^veness of in- 
juries: — "Lord, lay not this aln to their 
charge 1 " 

This is the conception in Italian and Ger- 
man Art, but in Spanish Art I have seen 
St Stephen bearded, and with the linea- 

1 r»l.-_i IS6 St. Sifphen. (V. CmrpiKio.) 

ments of a man ot thirty. 

I will give a few examples in which St. Stephen figures as proto- 
martyr or as deacon : — 


1. Mosaic^ As deacon^ he stands with St Laurence; each holds a 
censer (turibolo), anciently the office of the deacon.* 

2. He stands holding hb palm in one hand^ in the other a book; 
stones upon his head and upon his shoulders: as in a picture by 

3. In a beautiful fresco by Brusasorci, he presents the martyred 
Innocents to Christ. The children go before him^ bearing palms in 
their little hands. Ile^ with a paternal air, seems to recommend them 
to Christ, who is in a glory above.* 

4. Francia. St Stephen as martyr, his palm in one hand, in the 
other a book, on which are three stones stained with blood. - 

5. He stands holding a banner, on which is a white lamb and a red 
cross ; stones on his head : in an anonymous Siena picture.' This is the 
only instance in which I have seen St Stephen holding a banner. The 
painters of the Siena school indulged in various caprices and pecu- 
liarities, often highly poetical; but they must never be regarded as 
authorities, except in their own local saints. 

6. St Stephen stands on a throne as patron, holding his palm and 
book ; two angels from above crown him : on each side, St Augustine 
and St Nicholas, in a very fine picture by Calisto Piazza.^ 

7. He stands with other saints, distinguished by his palm, his deacon*s 
dress, and his wounded and bleeding head. (The wounds on his head 
distinguish him from St Laurence and St Vincent) 

8. Albert Durer. St Stephen standing with his palm in one hand, 
with the other holds up the skirt of his deacon's robe, in which are seen 
several stones stained with blood. 

The martyrdom of St Stephen (which led the way to so many other 
martyrdoms in the same righteous and sacred cause, and is the first event 
of any essential importance after the disciples were left to fight the 
battle of their Lord on earth) has been often represented ; and is so 
easily recognised, that I shall not dwell upon it further than to mention 
a few striking examples. Of course the motif does not vary ; we have 

' Monreale, Palermo. 

* But Dofr in the time of Stephen ; — the use of incense in churches dates from the fourth 
' Milan, Brera. Verona ; in S. Eufemia. * Florence GaL « Milan, Brera. 


the infuriated crowd, the mild unresisting victim, and Saul, looking on 
and ** consenting to his death : " but, from the number of figures, the 
arrangement and the sentiment are capable of great variety. 

1. The earliest example I have ever seen is an old Greek picture. 
St Stephen is kneeling ; around him are seen rude representations of 
walls and gates, eight figures throwing stones, and the Almighty hand, 
holding the martyr's crown, is over his head.^ 

2. Raphael has treated the subject classically. The figure of Stephen 
kneeling, with outstretched arms, as if he offered himself as victim, is 
very fine. The other figures look more like Romans than Jews ; Saul, 
in the dress of a Roman warrior, is seated under a tree.' In the 
Martyrdom of St. Stephen at Genoa, painted by Giulio Romano {it is 
said from a cartoon by Raphael), the composition seemed to me confused, 
and the picture when at Paris was shamefully repainted. 

3. Cigoli. A composition of eight figures. Stephen, struck down by 
a stone, falls backward. The ferocity of the executioners is painfully 
prominent: one of them kicks him. The Trinity is seen in a glory 
above, and an angel descends with a crown and palm. The picture is 
admirable for vigour and for pathos ; but it is more like a murder than 
a martyrdom,' 

4. The martyrdom of St. Stephen, in a fine engraving.* A little 
child is bringing stones in its vest to help the executioners. This has 
always appeared to me a fault both of taste and feeling : the introduction 
of a child thus employed, adds a touch of horror, but is surely un- 
christian in spirit, and unwarranted by the text. The incident, how- 
ever, occurs so frequently in pictures, that it may possibly be founded 
on some legend of St. Stephen unknown to me. 

5. Domenichino. In our National Gtdlery, a picture in which the 
subject is very dramatically treated. 

6. Annibal Caracci has treated the same subject several times with 
great force of expression. There is a beautiful sketch in the Sutherland 

7. Lebrun. St. Stephen, lying on the ground, his face turned 
towards heaven with an expression of mild trusting faith, has just 

' Eng. in D'Agincourt, pi. 34. ■ Vatican. 

■ Florence GaL * By C. Cort (1576) after Marcello Venusti. 


received his death-blow; the executioners standi as it were, in sus- 
pense, looking on. This is, beyond all comparison, the finest picture 
which Lebrun ever painted ; the pathos and truth of the sentiment, and 
the absence of every thing forced or theatrical, are so unlike the usual 
character of his works, that I could not at first believe it to be his.* 

8. Le Sueur. St. Stephen, lying dead on the ground, is bewailed 
by the disciples and the women, who prepare to carry him to the tomb* 
(Acts, viii. 2.) 

The life of St. Stephen, in a succession of subjects, is frequent In the 
ancient stained glass, and has been treated in mural frescoes and as a 
series of picture:?. Some examples are famous in the history of Art, 
and in all the instances I can remember the incidents represented are 
the same. 

I. Fra Angelico, when summoned to Rome by Nicholas V. in 1447, 
painted the history of St. Stephen and St. Laurence on the walls of a 
chapel in the Vatican, now called "la Cappella di Niccolo V.," and 
sometimes " la Cappella di San Lorenzo." The scenes from the life of 
St. Stephen are arranged in the following order : — 

1. St. Stephen is invested with the oflice of deacon. It is not said 
in the Acts that he was appointed by St. Peter, but it is so represented 
by Angelico : kneeling, he receives from St. Peter the sacramental cup. 
In the early Church it was the oflSce of the deacon to take charge of the 
cup and of all things pertaining to the altar. The six other deacons are 
iu the background. 2. St Stephen ministers to the poor : for this pur- 
pose he was appointed deacon. Three of the figures represent widows, 
in allusion to the text (Acts, vi. 1.). 3. St. Stephen preaches to the 
people. He is standing on a step; his audience, consisting chiefly of 
women and children, are seated before him. Several men, evidently un- 
converted, stand in the background: — "But they were not able to 
resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake ; then they suborned 
false witnesses, and brought him to the council" (Acts, vi. 10.). 4. "Then 
said the high-priest, Are these things so ? " Stephen stands in front, 

* Louvre. 

8T. STEPHEN. &87 

the high-priest has just put the interrogation, and Stephen, with his 
hand raised, is about to reply ; — ** Men, brethren, and fathers, 
hearken 1" (Acts, vii. 2.) Several old men stand round with malicious 
faces ; one of these, evidently his accuser, has the dress and shaven crown 
of a monk. 5. Stephen is dragged forth to martyrdom. The scene re- 
presents the walls of the city, and they are haling him through the gate. 
" They cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon 
him with one accord.*' (Acts, vii. 67.) 6. The Martyrdom of Stephen. 
He is kneeling, with clasped hands ; Saul, who is not here a young man, 
but with the bald head and pointed beard, which is the characteristic 
type, stands to the left, calmly looking on. The last composition is 
ineffective, and inferior to all the others. 

Angelico has represented Stephen as a young man, beardless, and 
with a most mild and candid expression. His dress is the deacon's 
habit, of a vivid blue. 

II. The set of pictures by Carpaccio, which once existed entire in 
Venice, is now distributed through several galleries. 

1. St. Stephen consecrated deacon by St. Peter, with six others ; 
they are all kneeling before him : in the background, sea and moun- 
tains.^ 2. The preaching of Stephen. He stands upon a pedestal or 
pulpit, in the court of the Temple, in an attitude of demonstration. 
The multitude around him; many in strange dresses from different 
parts of the world.' 3. St Stephen disputing with the doctors.^ 4. 
The last picture of the series, the Martyrdom, I have not met with. 

Carpaccio also has represented Stephen as young and of a beautiful 
countenance ; he wears the deacon's habit, which is red, embroidered 
with gold. 

III. Much finer than either of these, is the series by Juan Juanes. 
It consists of the usual subjects, but the treatment is very peculiar, 
and stamped by the character of the Spanish school. The figures are 

1. The series commences with his consecration as deacon. 2. Then 
follows the dispute in the synagogue. There are ten figures of doctors, 

* Berlin Gal. ^ Louvre. * Milan, Brera. * Madrid Gul. 


*^ Cyrenians, Alexandrians^ and those of Cilicia and Asia ; ^ the heads 
extremely fine and varied. Stephen stands with one hand extended as 
demonstrating ; in the other he holds the scriptures of the Old Testa- 
men t^ out of which he confuted his opponents. 3. Stephen accused. 
The doctors stop their ears ; he points through an open window, where 
Christ is seen in glory — " Behold ! I see the heavens opened, and the 
Son of man standing on the right hand of God !" The high-priest is on 
a throne, and the architecture and all the accessaries are magnificent'. 
4. Stephen is dragged forth to martyrdom. The executioners have 
their mouths open with a dog-like grin of maUce ; one raises his hand 
to strike the saint ; " Saul walks by his side, with the dignified resolute 
air of a persecutor from conviction, who is discharging a solemn duty, 
and is well contrasted with the vulgar cruelty of the mob. Studies for 
such scenes must have been common in Spain; many a Dominican 
inquisitor might have sat for Saul.*'* 5. St. Stephen is stoned in the 
act of prayer : " Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." 6. He is buried 
by the disciples, being laid in the tomb in his deacon's dress. Many 
are weeping, and the whole composition is extremely fine and solemn. 

In this series Stephen is represented as a man about thirty, with a 
short black beard and the Spanish physiognomy ; his deacon's habit is 
blue (as in the series by Angelico) ; which is remarkable, because this 
colour is now never used in sacred vestments. 

St Stephen and St. Laurence, both deacons, both martyrs, both young, 
and having the same character of mild devotion, are frequently repre- 
sented in companionship. 

St. Laueence, Deacon and Martyr. 

Lat S. LaurentiuB. /to/. San Lorenzo. Fr. St. Laurent. Ger, Der Heilige Laarentius or 
Lorenz. Patron of Nuremberg, of the Ejcurial, and of Grenoa. Aug. 10. a.d. 258. 

It is singular that of this young and renowned martyr, honoured at 
Borne next to St Peter and St, Paul, so little should be known, and it 

> V. Sir E. Head's Handbook of Spanish Art, p. 71., for a good description of this series. 
Also Mr. Stirling's Annals of the Artists of Spain. 


is no less singular that there has been no attempt to fill up the lack of 
material by invention. Of his existence, and the main circumstances 
of his martyrdom, as handed down by tradition, there can be little 
doubt The place of his birth, the period at which he lived, and the 
events of his life, have all been matters of dispute, and have been left 
uncertain by the best writers. His legend is thus related in the Flos 

About the time when Valerian was a prisoner to Sapor, king of 
Persia, and his son Gallienus reigned in the East, lived Sixtus IL, 
bishop of Home, the twenty-fourth in succession from St. Peter ; and 
he had for his deacon a young and pious priest named Laurence, who 
was a Spaniard, a native of Osca, or Huesca, in the kingdom of Aragon 
— (in which city the father and mother of St. Laurence are honoured 
as saints, under the names of Orentius and Patienzia). — Being very 
young on his arrival in Kome, he walked so meekly and so blamelessly 
before God, that Sixtus chose him for his archdeacon, and gave into his 
care the treasures of the Church, as they were then styled ; which 
treasures consisted in a little money, some vessels of gold and silver, 
and copes of rich embroidery for the service of the altar, which had 
been presented to the church by certain great and devout persons, Julia 
Mammea, mother of the Emperor Alexander Severus ; Flavia Domi- 
tilla ; the Emperor Philip, and others. And Sixtus, being denounced 
to the prefect of Rome as a Christian, was led away to prison and soon 
afler sentenced to death ; which when Laurence the Deacon saw, he 
was in great affliction, and he clung to his friend and pastor, saying, 
" Whither goest thou, O my father, without thy son and servant ? am 
I found unworthy to accompany thee to death, and to pour out my 
blood with thine in testimony to the truth of Christ? St, Peter suflfered 
Stephen, his deacon, to die before him : wilt thou not also suffer me to 
prepare thy way?" All this he said, and much more, shedding many 
tears ; but the holy man replied, " I do not leave thee, my son ; in three 
days thou shalt follow after me, and thy battle shall be harder than 
mine ; for I am old and weak, and my course shall soon be finished ; 
but thou, who art young and strong and brave, thy torments will be 
longer and more severe, and thy triumph the greater : therefore grieve 
not, for Laurence the Levite shall follow Sixtus the priest." Thus he 

VOL. II. u 


comforted the young man, and moreover commanded him to take all the 
possessions of the church and distribute them to the poor, that they 
might in no case fall into the hands of the tyrant. And after this 
Sixtus was put to death. Then Laurence took the money and treasures 
of the church, and walked through all the city of Rome, seeking out 
the poor and the sick, the naked and the hungry ; and he arriyed by 
night at a house on the Celian Hill where dwelt a devout Christian 
widow whose name was Cyriaca, who kept many fugitive Christians 
concealed in her house, and ministered to them with unceasing charity. 
And when Laurence came there he found her sick, and healed her by 
laying his hands upon her. Then he washed the feet of the Christians 
who were in the house, and gave them alms : and in this manner he 
went from one dwelling to another, consoling the persecuted, and dis- 
pensing alms and performing works of charity and humility. Thus he 
prepared himself for his impending martyrdom. 

The satellites of the tyrant, hearing that the treasures of the church 
had been confided to Laurence, carried him before the tribunal, and he 
was questioned, but replied not one word ; therefore he was put into a 
dungeon, under the charge of a man named Hippolytus, whom with his 
whole family he converted to the faith of Christ, and baptized ; and 
when he was called again before the prefect, and required to say where 
the treasures were concealed, he answered that in three days he would 
show them. The third day being come, St. Laurence gathered together 
the sick and the poor to whom he had dispensed alms, and, placing them 
before the prefect, said, " Behold, here are the treasures of Christ's 
Church." Upon this the prefect, thinking he was mocked, fell into a 
great rage, and ordered St. Laurence to be tortured till he had made 
known where the treasures were concealed; but no suffering could 
subdue the patience and constancy of the holy martyr. Then the 
prefect commanded that he should be carried by night to the baths of 
Olympias, near the villa of Sallust the historian, and that a new kind of 
torture should be prepared for him, more strange and cruel than had 
ever entered into the heart of a tyrant to conceive ; for he ordered him 
to be stretched on a sort of bed, formed of iron bars in the manner of a 
gridiron, and a fire to be lighted beneath, which should gradually con- 
sume his body to ashes : and the executioners did as they were com- 


mandedy kindling the fire^ and adding coals from time to time, so that 
the victim was in a manner roasted alive ; and those who were present 
looked on with horror, and wondered at the cruelty of the prefect, who 
could condemn to such torments a youth of such fair person and cour- 
teous and gentle bearing, and all for the lust of gold. 

And in the midst of his torments, Laurence, to triumph farther over 
the cruelty of the tjrrant, said to him, " Seest thou not, O thou foolish 
man, that I am already roasted on one side, and that, if thou wouldst 
have me well cooked, it is time to turn me on the other ?" And the tyrant 
and executioners were confounded by his constancy. Then St Lau- 
rence lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, " I thank thee, O my God 
and Saviour, that I have been found worthy to enter into thy beatitude ! " 
and with these words his pure and invincible spirit fled to heaven. 

The prefect and his executioners, seeing that the saint was dead, 
went their way in great wonder and consternation, leaving his body on 
the gridiron : and in the morning came Hippolytus and took it away, and 
buried it reverently in a secret place, in the Via Tiburtina. When this 
was known to the prefect, he seized Hippolytus, and commanded him 
to be tied to the tail of a wild horse ; and thus he perished. But God 
suffered not that this wicked and cruel prefect should escape the punish- 
ment of his crimes ; for, some time afterwards, as he sat in the amphi- 
theatre of Vespasian, and presided over the public games, all of a sudden 
miserable pangs came over him, and he cried out upon St. Laurence and 
Hippolytus, and gave up the ghost ! 

But to St. Laurence was given a crown of glory in heaven, and upon 
earth eternal and universal praise and fame ; for there is scarcely a city 
or town in all Christendom which does not contain a church and altar 
dedicated to his honour. The first of these was built by Constantino 
outside the gates of Brome, on the spot where he was buried ; and an- 
other was built on the summit of the Pincian Hill, where he was mar- 
tyred ; and besides these, there are at Home four others ; and in Spain, 
the Escurial; and in Genoa, the Cathedral.^ 

Figures of St Laurence in devotional pictures occur perpetually. 

* In England about 250 churches are dedicated in honour of St. Laurence. 

u 2 


He, as well as St. Stephen, wears the deacon's dress, and has the palm 
as martyr ; and where he bears hia familiar attribute, the gridiron (la 
graticola), he is not to be mistaken ; but there are instances in which 
the gridiron is omitted, and he carries a 
dish fuil of gold and silver money in hia 
hand — the treasures of the church confided 
to his keeping; or he swings a censer ; or 
carries a cross, for it was the province of 
the deacon to carry the cross in proces- 
sions and other religious ceremonies. The 
deacon's dress has been described : in 
pictures of St. Laurence, wlio was the 
first archdeacon, the dress is usually splen- 
did ; in some pictures he wears a tunic 
covered with dames of fire in allusion to 
his martyrdom. (139) He is represented 
younger than Stephen, and with a look 
of calm sweetness almost angelic The 
gridiron varies in form : it is sometimes a 
parallelogram, formed of transverse bars, 
on which he leans or sets his foot in 
triumph : sometimes It has tlie form of 
the common kitchen utensil; it is then 
no longer the attribute, but a mere em- 
blem of the death he suffered. Some- 
times a little gridiron is suspended round 
his neck, or he holds it in his hand, or it 
137 SI Liurcnco 'viv.rioi '^ embroidcred on his robe.' 

1. In a picture by Pintnricchio at 
Spelfo, St. Laurence stands with St Francis by the throne of a 
beautiful Madonna; he leans on his graticola, and, with a truly 

' I EAiv in one of tlic Italian churchcB, I Ibink Bt Cremona, an antiqac fragmenl rpprcsent- 
ing tiie story of Mucins Suerola thrusting hia band into the flumes, which l:hc gaide pointed 
out OS " Hn inoillo aoldalo, cAe *ara,ptr certo, ua taKlo martirti" and irbich tlie people Tene- 
ralcd as a St. Luurvncc. 


poetical aoticipstioDj has his martyrdom embroidered on his deacon's 
robe. (138) 

One of the moat beautiful devotional figures of St. Laurence I have 
ever seen is bj Ghtrlandajo, it represents liim looking up with an 
expression of ecstatic faith; hisdeacon's 
tunic is of crimson with a green mantle 
in rich folds ' : it forms one wing of an 

The subjects from his life are fen ; 
the most frequent is, of coiu-se, his 
famous and frightful martyrdom, — a 
theme ditScult to be treated, so as to 
render it bearable : we have it in every 
variety of style — sublime, horrible, 
grotesque ; but it is so peculiar, that 
it can never be mistaken, and admits 
of little variation in the sentiment. 
The moment chosen is not, however, 
always the same; sometimes he is 
addressing to the prefect the famous 
ironical speech, which is but too near 
to the burlesque'; sometimes he is 
looking uj) to the opening heavens, 
whence the angel floats downwards 
with the palm and crown ; execu- 
tioners are blowins; the fire, and bring- 

" '. " I3S St. LHircnce- (PlnlurtMhlo.) 

ing fuel to iced it. ihe time, which 

was night, the effect of the lurid fire, the undraped beautiful form of the 
young saint, whose attitude, in spite of the cruel manner of his agony, 
is susceptible of much grace; tiie crowd of spectators, with every 
variety of expression ; — all these picturesque circumstances have been 
admirably employed by Titian in one of the moat famous of ius compo- 

' Hnnich, 564. 

* It i* lileraltj, "I un done, or roasted, — now torn mc, and cat me." (^Atsaivs eit ; jam 
vtna et maiidiua.) 


siUons, that which he paiotcd for Philip II., to be placed in the Escurial, 

which was dedicated to St. Laurence.' 

The " Martyrdom of St Laurence," by 
Baccio BandincUi the scidptor, ia arranged 
as K scenic bas-relief, and is well known to 
artists as a study for attitude and form, and 
to collectors for the beauty of the engra%'ing 
by Marc Antonio. 

" St Laurence preparing for his martyr- 
dom : " he stands with hands bound in a loose 
white tunic, which one of the executioners is 
about to remove ; a very pretty pathetic pic- 
ture by Elsheimer.* 

A scries of subjects from the life of St. 
Laurence is frequent in the stained glass of the 
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries ; — there 
is a fine example in the Cathedral at Chartres. 

The series of frescoes by Angelico in the 
chapel of Nicholas V. haa that delicacy of 
sentiment which characterises the painter. 
1. He is ordained deacon by Pope Sixtus, 
who, seated on a throne, gives to his keeping 
the consecrated cup. 2. He receives from 
Sixtus the treasures of the church. 3. He 

139 St. Laur»nMi)l«illHillngth» ,. „ , , *-,,.-. 

(F'!in"'ucD )' ^''""''' distnbutes them to the poor Christians.* 4. 
He stands bound before the prefect Decius. 
Scourges and instruments of torture are lying on the ground, fi. He 
lies stretched on the gridiron. 

In the series of old frescoes under the portico of the Basilica of San 
Lorenzo, the events of his life arc moat elaborately and minutely ex- 

' There a^s manj repetiLions and engravings. ' Munii-b Cabinet, viii. I5i. 

' " The charity of St. Lnurenco," after this bcniitirul (reeco, has lately been engraved by 
Loaig Gruncr, for the Aruncicl Society, with a jirccieioD and purity of taste in the drawing, 
and a floning case and elegance in the management of the burin, which recall the old 
ciigrnvers of the RalfacleEquc ecIiooI. 


pressed : the series consists of the following subjects ; they are on the 
right hand as you enter^ but. in such a state of ruin as to be nearly 
unintelligible : — 

1. Nearly effaced; it probably represented his investiture as deacon* 
2. St. Laurence washes the feet of the poor Christians. 3. He heals 
Cyriaca. 4. He distributes alms. 5. He meets St Sixtus led to deaths 
and receives his blessing. 6. He is brought before the prefect. 7. He 
restores sight to Lucillus. 8. He is scourged with thongs loaded with 
lead. 9. He baptizes Hippolytus. 10. (Effaced.) 11. He refuses to 
deliver the treasures of the church. 12. (Effaced.) 13, 14, 15. His 
body wrapt in a shroud, carried away, and buried by Hippolytus. 

Four of the compartments on the right hand, and now with diflSculty 
made out, represent the contention between the devil and the angel for 
the soul of the Emperor Henry II., here represented because St. 
Laurence plays a conspicuous part in it. This wild legend is an 
amusing instance of .the stories or parables invented by the churchmen 
of the time, and their obvious purpose : — 

*^ One night, a certain hermit sat meditating in his solitary hut, and 
he heard a sound as of a host of wild men rushing and trampling by ; 
and he opened his window and called out, and demanded who it was 
that thus disturbed the quiet of his solitude ; and a voice answered, 
* We are demons ; Henry the Emperor is about to die in this moment, 
and ^e go to seize his souL' Then the hermit called out again, ^I 
conjure thee, that, on thy return, thou appear before me, and tell me 
the result' The demon promised, and went on his way ; and in the 
same night the same ghastly sounds were again heard, and one knocked 
at the window, and the hermit hastened to open it, and behold it was the 
same demon whom he had spoken to before. ' Now,' said the hermit, 
*how has it fared with thee?' *I11I to desperation!' answered the 
fiend in a fury. * We came at the right moment; the emperor had just 
expired, and we hastened to prefer our claim ! when, lo I his good angel 
came to save him. We disputed long, and at last the Angel of Judgment 
(St Michael) laid his good and evil deeds in the scales, and, behold I 
our scale descended and touched the earth; — the victory was ours! 
when, all at once, yonder roasted fellow' (for so he blasphemously styled 
the blessed St. Laurence) * appeared on his side, and flung a great 


golden pot ' (so the reprobate styled the holy cup) * into the other scale, 
and ours flew up, and we were forced to make oflf in a hurry ; but at 
least I was avenged on the golden pot, for I broke off the handle, and 
here it is : ' and having said these words, the whole company of demons 
vanished. Then the hermit rose up in the morning, hastened to the 
city, and found the emperor dead ; and the golden cup which he had 
piously presented to the church of St Laurence was found with only 
one handle, the other having disappeared that same night.** 

The old frescoes give us this strange but significant story at fiill 
length. In the first compartment a hermit is looking out of a window, 
and there are some fragmentary portions of the devils just visible : the 
second represents the death-bed of the emperor, at the foot of it appear 
the demons : in the next, the angel and the demons are contending ; the 
soul of the emperor clasps the knees of the angel as if for refuge : in the 
fourth appears St. Laurence to the rescue, one of the fiends has fallen 
on his knees before him. The whole series in a barbarous style, and in 
a most ruined state.' 

I met with this legend again in the famous Strozzi Chapel in the S. 
Maria Novella at Florence. The great frescoes* of the Last Judgment, 
so often pointed out as worthy of especial attention, generally engross 
the mind of the spectator to the exclusion of minor objects ; few, there- 
fore, have examined the curious and beautiful old altar-piece, also by 
Orcagna (a.d. 1349). It represents Christ giving the keys to St. 
Peter, and attended by St. John, St Paul, St. Thomas Aquinas, St 
Catherine, St Michael, St. Laurence. In the predella below are scenes 
from the life of each of the saints represented above. For example, 
under the figure of St Laurence we have the contention for the soul of 
the Emperor Henry. In the centre the emperor is seen expiring amid 
his attendants : on one side, the flight of the demons through the desert, 
the hermit looking out of his cave : on the other, St Michael holds the 
scales ; the merits of the emperor are weighed in the balance and found 
wanting ; St Laurence descends and places the vase in one scale ; the 
demons are in a rage, and one of them seems to threaten St. Laurence. 
The whole conception very odd and grotesque, but the story told with 

' They are engraved in a small sixe in D'Agiiicouri's " Ilistoirc de TArt," pi. xcix. No. 8. 

ST. HIPP0LYTU8. 647 

infinitely more skill and spirit than in the rude old frescoes in the church 
of San Lorenzo. 

Doublet, in his history of the abbey of St Denis, cites a passage in 
an ancient chronicle wherein the demons lament, " that wishing to carry 
away the soul of Charlemagne, they did not succeed because of the 
opposition of Michael, the archangel, and the weight of the oflTerings 
made to the Church, which, being thrown into the scale of good works, 
Weighed it down." Such fabrications were frequent in those days, and 
are very suggestive in ours. 

As the story of St. Hippolytus is closely connected with that of St. 
Laurence, I place it here. 

St. Hippolytus. 

Itai. Sant* Ippollto. Fr. Saint Hippolyte. Aug. 13. a.d. 258. 

Hippolytus was the name of the soldier who was stationed as guard 
over the illustrious martyr St. Laurence, by whose invincible courage 
and affectionate exhortations he was so moved that he became a Christian 
with all his family. After the terrible death of St. Laurence, at which 
he had been present, he, with some other Christians, carried away the 
body of the saint by night and buried it : all which has been already 
related; and it remains only to show how Hippolytus honoured the 
teaching of his master, and proved his faith. 

Being brought before the tribunal of Decius, and accused of being a 
Christian, Hippolytus acknowledged himself as such, and declared that 
he was ready to die like St. Laurence rather than deny his Redeemer. 
Decius sent his lictors to the house of Hippolytus with orders to arrest 
all who were found there ; and among others was his aged nurse, whose 
name was Concordia, and who, in consequence of the boldness with 
which she replied to the demands of the judge, was condemned to be 
scourged until she died ; and Hippolytus, looking on, thanked God that 
his nurse, from whose bosom he had fed, had died worthily for Christ's 
sake ; and having seen nineteen of his family beheaded, and still refusing 



to listen to the temptations of these wicked pagans, he was tied to the 
taik of wild horses, and, in this cruel and terrible martyrdom, perished. 

By a curious mingling of the Pagan mythology and Christian 
traditions, Hippoly tus has partaken of the attributes of his namesake the 
son of Theseus, and has been chosen as the patron saint of horses. His 
name in Greek signifies ** one who is destroyed by horses.** His 
popularity in France is probably owing to the translation of his relics 
from Rome to the Abbey of St Denis in the eighth century ; but in the 
legends of this saint there prevails a more than usual degree of obscurity 
and uncertainty. 

1. In the old mosaic in the church of San Lorenzo, Kome, St. 
Hippolytus in a warrior's dress stands behind St. Laurence. 

The ancient devotional pictures of Hippolytus often represent him as 
the jailer of St. Laurence, with a bunch of keys hanging to his girdle. 

2. In a little picture in the Academy at Florence he is thus repre- 
sented, and also holds in his hand an instrument of torture something 
like a currycomb with iron teeth. 

3. The Martyrdom of St. Hippolytus was painted by Subleyras. The 
picture, which is one of his most beautiful, is in the Louvre ' ; Hippo- 
lytus lies on the ground, his hands bound, his feet tied to the tails of two 
wild horses, which, starting, rearing, and with their manes blown by the 
wind, are with difficulty restrained by a number of soldiers ; the head of 
the saint is remarkably fine as he looks up to heaven with an expression 
of enthusiastic faith. 

4. El Mudo painted for the Escurial, which, it will be remembered, 
was dedicated to St. Laurence, Hippolytus and his companions burying 
the body of the Saint by night. It is praised for the solemn and 
pathetic effect of the composition, and is in truth a beautiful subject. 

5. In St. Salvator, Bruges, is the Martyrdom of Hippolytus by 
Hans Hemling. 

I have seen the story of Hippolytus frequently in the stained glass 
and sculpture of the old French churches. In the modern church of 

* Ecole Fran9aisc, 506. 


Notre Dame de Lorette at Paris the story of St. Hippolytus is painted 
in three compartments* 1. He is baptized by St. Laurence. 2. He 
buries the body of the saint. 3. He is tied to a wild horse. 

St. Vincent, Deacon and Martyr. 

Lot St Vincentins Leyita. ItaL San Vincenzio Diacono, San Vincensino. Fr. Saint 
Vincent. Patron of Lisbon, of Valencia, of Saragossa ; one of the patrons of Milan ;. 
patron saint of Chalons, and many other places in France. Jan. 22. a d. 304. 

This renowned saint and martyr of the early Christian Church has been 
most popular in Spain, the scene of his legend, and in France, where he 
has been an object of particular veneration from the sixth century. It 
is generally allowed that the main circumstances of the history of 
Vincent, deacon of Saragossa, of his sufferings for the cause of Christ, 
and his invincible courage, expressed by his name, rest on concurrent 
testimony of the highest antiquity, which cannot be rejected ; but it has 
been extravagantly embroidered. I give his legend here, as accepted by 
the poets and artists. 

** He was bom in Saragossa, in the kingdom of Aragon. Prudentius, 
in his famous Hymn, congratulates this city on having produced more 
saints and martyrs than any other city in Spain. During the per- 
secution under Diocletian, the cruel proconsul Dacian, infamous in the 
annals of Spanish martyrdom, caused all the Christians of Saragossa, 
men, women, and children, whom he collected together by a promise of 
immunity, to be massacred. Among these were the virgin Eugracia, 
and the eighteen Christian cavaliers who attended her to death. At 
this time lived St. Vincent: he had been early instructed in the 
Christian faith, and with all the ardour of youth devoted himself to the 
service of Christ. At the time of the persecution, being not more than 
twenty years of age, he was already a deacon. The dangers and the 
sufferings of the Christians only excited his charity and his zeal ; and 
after having encouraged and sustained many of his brethren in the 
torments inflicted upon them, he was himself called to receive the crown 
of martyrdom. Being brought before the tribunal of Dacian^ together 

X 2 


With his bishop^ Valerius, they were accused of being Christians and 
contemners of the gods. Valerius, who was very old, and had an 
impediment in his speech, answered to the accusation in a voice so low 
that he could scarcely be heard. On this, St. Vincent burst forth with 
Christian fervour, — * How is this, my father I canst thou not speak 
aloud, and defy this pagan dog ? Speak, that all the world may hear ; 
or suffer me, who am only thy servant, to speak in thy stead I ' The 
bishop having given him leave to speak, St. Vincent stood forth, and 
proclaimed his faith aloud, defying the tortures with which they were 
threatened ; so that the Christians who were present were lifted up in 
heart and full of gratitude to God, and the wicked proconsul was in the 
same degree filled with indignation. He ordered the old bishop to be 
banished from the city ; but Vincent, who had defied him, he reserved 
as an example to the rest, and was resolved to bend him to submission 
by the most terrible and ingenious tortures that cruelty could invent. 
The young saint endured them unflinching. * When his body was 
lacerated by iron forks, he only smiled on his tormentors : the pangs 
they inflicted were to him delights ; thorns were his roses ; the flames 
a refreshing bath ; death itself was but the entrance to life.' * They 
laid him, torn, bleeding, and half consumed by fire, on the ground 
strewn with potsherds, and left him there; but God sent down his 
angels to comfort him ; and when his guards looked into the dungeon, 
they beheld it filled with light and fragrance ; they heard the angels 
singing songs of triumph, and the unconquerable martyr pouring forth 
his soul in hymns of thanksgiving : he even called to his jailers to enter 
and partake of the celestial delight and solace whicTi had been vouchsafed 
to him ; and they, being amazed, fell upon their knees and acknowledged 
the true God. 

" But Dacian, perfidious as he was cruel, began to consider what 
other means might remain to conquer his unconquerable victim. Having 
tried tortures in vain, he determined to try seduction. He ordered a 
bed of down to*be prepared, strewn with roses; commanded the sufferer 
to be laid upon it, and allowed his friends and disciples to approach 
him : they, weeping, staunched his wounds, and dipped their kerchiefs 

* FrudcntiuB, Hymn to St Laurence, He calls the iron forks roHtreUi^ or rakes. 


in his flowing blood, and kissed his hands and brow, and besought him 
to live. But the martyr, who had held out through such protracted 
torments, had no sooner been laid upon the bed, than his pure spirit, 
disdaining as it were these treacherous indulgences, fled to heaven ; the 
angels received him on their wings, and he entered into bliss ineffiible 
and eternal. 

*' The proconsul, furious that his victim had escaped him, ordered 
his body to be thrown out to the wild beasts : but behold the goodness 
of God I who sent a raven to guard his sacred remains ; and when a wolf 
approached to devour them, the raven obliged it to retire. And when 
Dacian was informed that after many days the body of Vincent re- 
mained untouched, he was ready to tear himself for despite : he ordered 
his minions to take the body of the holy martyr, to sew it up in an ox- 
hide, as was done towards parricides, and to throw it into the sea. 
These impious satellites therefore took the body, and, placing it in a 
bark, they rowed out far into the sea, and flung it, attached to a mill- 
stone, overboard : they then rowed back again to the shore ; but what 
was their astonishment, when, on landing, they found that the body of 
St. Vincent had arrived before them, and was lying on the sand ! They 
were so terrified that they fled ; and there being none to bury him, the 
waves of the sea, by the command of God, performed that pious oflSce, 
and hollowed a tomb for him in the sands, where he lay, protected from 
all indignity, hidden from all human knowledge; until, after many 
years, the spot was miraculously revealed to certain Christians, who 
carried his body to the city of Valencia, and buried it there. 

^* In the eighth century, when the Christians of Valencia were obliged 
to flee from the Moors, they carried with them the body of St. Vincent. 
The vessel in which they had embarked was driven by the winds through 
the straits of Hercules, until they arrived at a promontory, where they 
landed and deposited the remains of the saint ; and this promontory has 
since been called Cape St. Vincent. Here the sacred relics were again 
guarded by the ravens or crows, and hence a part of the cliff* is called 
el Monte de las Cuervos, About the year 1147, Alonzo I. removed the 
relics to Lisbon, — two of the crows, one at the prow and one at the 
stem, piloting the ship. Thus, after many wanderings, the blessed St. 
Vincent rested in the Cathedral of Lisbon; and the crows which accom- 


panied him having multiplied greatly, rents were assigned to the chapter 
for their support" 

The legend of this illustrious martyr is one of the most ancient in the 
Church. The famous Latin hymn of Prudentius (a.d. 403) recites all 
the details of his horrible martyrdom in a style which may pass in Latin, 
but would certainly be intolerable in English. St. Augustine and St^ 
Ambrose testify that, in their time, the fame of St. Vincent the Invin^ 
cible had penetrated wherever the name of Christ was known.* He has 
been honoured since the fourth century throughout Christendom, but 
more particularly in Spain, where, we are told, ** there is scarcely a 
city in the whole Peninsula without a church dedicated to him, in which 
he may be seen carved or painted : " and the same may be said of 
France, where he has been honoured since the year 542. The church, 
now " St. Germain des Pres " at Paris, was originally dedicated to St. 
Vincent in 559. The pretended translation of the relics to France, by 
means of a thieving, lying monk, I pass over, because it is discredited, 
and unconnected with my purpose in these Essays.* 

In works of art it is not always easy to distinguish St. Vincent from 
St. Stephen and St. Laurence ; for he, too, is young and mild and 
beautiful ; he also wears the deacon's dress, and carries the palm : but 
his peculiar attribute is a crow or a raven, sometimes perched upon a 
millstone. Mr. Ford mentions an effigy of St. Vincent at Seville, in 
which the saint is painted with his " familiar crow, holding a pitchfork 
in his mouth : '* ** a rudder," he thinks, " would have been more appro- 
priate." I imagine that the iron fork is here the instrument of his 
martyrdom, and quite appropriate. In the Italian pictures St. Vincent 
has seldom any attribute but the palm, while St. Laurence and St 
Stephen are seldom without their respective gridiron and stones. St 
Vincent is frequently grouped with St Laurence ; the Spanish legend 
makes them brothers, but I find no authority for this relationship in the 
French and Italian Martyrologies. 

* There arc four churches in England dedicated in his honour. 

"^ It is because of the supposed deposition of the relics of St Vincent in the church of St. 
Germain, that St. Vincent and St. Germain are so often found together in French pictures. 
There is one in the Louvre (Ecolo Franyaise, 634.) painted by Vien. 


The most beautiful devotional figure of this martyr I have ever seen 
is a picture by Palma, in the S. Maria del' Orto, at Venice, almost, if 
not quite, equal to his famous St. Barbara for colour and expression. 
St Vincent stands in the centre on a kind of platform : he is habited 
in the deacon's robe, here of a deep glowing red, richly embroidered ; 
he holds the palm, and has no other attribute; the face is divinely beau*- 
tiful — mild, refined, and elevated to a degree uncommon in the Vene- 
tian school. Four saints stand round him ; St Helen with her cross, a 
Dominican (I think St Vincent Ferrer), a pope, and a martyr-saint 
whom I cannot name : completely absorbed by admiration of the prin- 
cipal figure, I did not consider them with sufiicient attention. In a 
picture by PoUajuolo, also of extraordinary beauty, he is young, bearing 
his palm, and his crimson Dalmatica is embroidered with gold.' 

A fresco by Aurelio Luini, once in the church of S. Vincenzino at 
Milan, now in the Brera, represents the youthful saint preparing to 
undergo the torture which he suffered with such marvellous constancy. 
He is bound to a tree, ^and two executioners, with iron hooks in their 
hands, seem about to tear him. 

A series of subjects from his life, frequent in the stained glass and 
sculpture of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, consists of the fol- 
lowing scenes: — 1. He is brought before the proconsul with the aged 
priest Valerius, who is attired as a bishop, while Vincent wears the 
deacon's dress. 2. He is tortured in various ways : he is torn with 
iron hooks, laid on a bed of red-hot iron, stretched upon the ground on 
potsherds. 3. Angels visit him in his dungeon. 4. He dies on the 
bed of roses. 5. His body lies exposed, guarded by a raven ; a wolf is 
also generally introduced. 6. His body, fastened to a millstone, floats 
on the surface of the sea. In this manner his story is represented on 
one of the windows at Bourges, and on another at Chartres ; also in 
St Vincent's at Rouen. 

The very ancient frescoes in the portico of his church at the " Tre 
Fontane," near Kome, have perished, at least I could scarcely discern 
the traces of them, but they may be found in D'Agincourt^ In this 

' Florence Gal. » Hist, de TArt par les Monamens, pi. 98. 


church he is honoured^ in conjunction with St. Anastasius the Persian, 
a young saint who, being in Persia at the time the true cross was carried 
thither by Chosroes, in 614, was converted by the miracles it performed, 
or rather occasioned, and was martyred in consequence. His obscure 
legend I have not found, except in these defaced old paintings. He 
was first strangled, and then beheaded ; and his proper attribute is the 

St. Vitus. 

/to/. San Vito. Fr. St Vite, or St. Gay. Gtr, Der Heilige Veit, Vit, or Vitus. Patron 

of Saxony, Bohemia, and Sicily. Jane 15. a.d. 303. 

Vitus or Vito was the son of a noble Sicilian. His parents were 
heathens; but his nurse, Crescentia, and his foster-father Modestus, 
who were secretly Christians, brought him up in the faith, and caused 
him to be baptized. At twelve years old, he openly professed himself 
a Christian, to the great indignation of his father, and the cruel governor. 
Valerian, who attempted, by the usual terrors and tortures, to subdue 
his constancy. He was beaten, and shut up in a dungeon ; but his 
father, looking through the keyhole, beheld him dancing with seven 
beautiful angels ; and he was so amazed and dazzled by their celestial 
radiance, that he became blind in the same moment, and only recovered 
his sight by the intercession of his son. But his heart being hardened, 
he again persecuted Vitus, and treated him cruelly; therefore the youth 
fied with his nurse and Modestus, and crossed the sea to Italy, in a little 
boat, an angel steering at the helm. But, soon after their arrival, they 
were accused before the satellites of the Emperor Diocletian, plunged 
into a caldron of boiling oil, and thus received the crown of martyrdom. 
This popular saint has been reverenced in every part of Christendom 
from time immemorial. In Germany he is one of the fourteen Noth* 
heifers or patron- saints, and as such figures often in the old German 
pictures, as in a remarkable picture by Wohlgemuth in the Burg at 
Nuremberg, and another still finer in the JVIoritz-Kapell. He is the 
patron saint of dancers and actors, and invoked against that nervous 
affection commonly called " St. Vitus^ Dance.^^ He is represented as a 

beautiful boy^ holding his pabn ; he hae a cock in his hand, or near him, 
whence he is invoked against too much sleep, by those who find a diffi- 
culty in early rising.' Other attributes are — the lion, because in his 
martyrdom he was exposed to Uodb ; a wolf, because his remaine were 
watched by a wolf, — a legend common to many stunts; a caldron of 
boiling oil, the instrument of his martyrdom. 

St. Vitus is found in the sacred pictures, principally at Venice and at 
Prague. The fine cathedral at Prague is dedicated to him, and on his 
shrine there is a very good modern statue of him, standing, mild, beau- 
tiful and young, with his cock beside him. 

The Martyrdom of St. Vitus, standing in a caldron with fire under- 
neath, and St George and St. Wolfgang, as Protectors of Bavaria, on 
each side, by Bassetti of Verona, I saw at Munich, 

' The origin of the cock u an attribute of St. Vitas ii a diipnCed point. It appean that 
from Tcrj BQcient times it was a custom to offer up a cock to him, and so late as the begianing 
of the eighteenth cenCur; thi« was done bj the common people of Prague. 


I SHALL group together here those Greek Martyrs who have been 
accepted and particularly reverenced by the Latin Church, though as 
subjects of Art and patron saints they have not become popular. 

St. Thecla, Virgin and Martyr. 

ItaL San Tecla. Fr. St. Tht^cle. Ger. Die Heiligo Thekla. Patroness of Tarragona. 

Sept. 23. 

Such was the veneration paid to this saint in the East, and in the early 
ages of Christianity, that it was considered the greatest praise that 
could be given to a woman to compare her to St^ Thecla. Some of the 
ancient fathers assure us that she had studied profane literature and 
philosophy, and was famous for her eloquence.* . 

Her story is contained in a work entitled " The Acts of Paul and 
Thecla," known and circulated in the first century, but condemned as 
spurious by St. John the Evangelist. 

" It is related, that when the apostle Paul arrived at Anconium, he 
preached in the house of Onesiphorus: and a certain virgin, named 
Thecla, sat at a window in her house, from whence, by the advantage 
of a window in the house where Paul was, she listened to his sermons 
concerning God, concerning charity, concerning faith in Christ, and con» 
ceming prayer, until with exceeding joy she was subdued to the doctrines 
of the faith. 

" Now this virgin Thecla was betrothed to a youth named Thamyris, 
who loved her much ; but when she would not be prevailed upon to 
depart from the window, her mother sent to Thamyris, and complained 
to him that her daughter would not move from the window, nor eat, nor 

* Baillct, Vies des Snints. Tillemont, torn. ii. p. 66. 

ST. THECLA. 657 

drink^ so intent was she to hear the discourses of Paul. So Thamyris 
went and spoke to her, and said, * Thecla I my betrothed 1 why sittest 
thou in this melancholy posture? turn to Thamyris, and blush!' Her 
mother, Theoclea, also chid her, but it was to no purpose. Then they 
wept exceedingly, — Thamyris that he had lost his betrothed, Theoclea 
tliat she had lost her daughter, and the maids that they had lost their 
mistress : so there was an universal mourning in the house. But all 
these things made no impression upon Thecla, who did not even turn 
her head ; for she regarded only the discourse of Paul, and his words, 
which made her heart burn within her. 

" Then the young man complained to the governor, and the governor 
ordered Paul to be bound, and to be put in prison till he should be at 
leisure to hear him fully. But in the night, Thecla, taking off her ear- 
rings gave them to the turnkey of the prison, who opened the doors of 
the prison and let her in ; and when she had made a present of a silver 
looking-glass to the jailer, she was allowed to enter the room where 
Paul was : and she sat down at his feet, and heard from him the great 
things of God. And when she beheld his courage, and listened to his 
eloquence, she kissed his chains in a transport of faith and admiration. 

** When the governor heard these things, he ordered Paul to be 
scourged and driven out of the city, and Thecla to be burned. Then 
the young men and women gathered wood and straw for the burning of 
Thecla, who being brought naked to the stake extorted tears from the 
governor, for he was surprised, beholding the greatness of her beauty. 
Then the people kindled the pile ; but though the flame was exceedingly 
large, it did not touch her, for God took compassion on her ; the fire 
was extinguished, and she was preserved, and made her escape. And 
Paul, taking Thecla along with him, went for Antioch. There a man 
named Alexander accused her before the governor, and she was con- 
demned to be thrown among the beasts, which when the people saw, 
they cried out, saying, * The judgments declared in this city are 
unjust ! ' 

** But Thecla desired no other favour of the governor than that her 
chastity might be guarded till she should be cast to the wild beasts* 
The day arrived, and she was brought to the amphitheatre, in the 
presence of a multitude of spectators, and, being stripped of her drapery, 

Y 2 


she had a girdle put round her bodj^ and was thrown into the place 
appointed for fighting with the beasts^ and the lions and the bears were 
let loose upon her. But the women who were in the theatre were 
struck with compassion^ and groaned and cried out, * Oh, unrighteous 
judgment ! O cruel sight 1 The whole city ought to suffer for such 
crimes I ' and one of them, called Trissina, wept aloud. Meantime a 
lioness, which was of all the most fierce, ran upon Thecla, and fell down 
at her feet ; and the bears and the he-lions lay as though they were fast 
asleep, and did not touch her. Upon this the governor csdled Thecla 
from among the beasts, and said to her, * Who art thou, woman, that not 
one of the beasts will touch thee?' And Thecla replied, ^ I am a 
servant of the living God, and a believer in Jesus Christ his Son.' 
Then the governor ordered her clothes to be brought, and said to her, 
* Put on your apparel,' and he released her, 

" Then Thecla went home with Trissina : but desiring much to see 
Paul, she resolved to travel in search of him ; and Trissina sent large 
sums of money to Paul by her hands, also much clothing for the poor. 
So Thecla journeyed till she found Paul preaching the word of Grod at 
Myra, in Lycia. Thence she returned to loonium, and after many 
years spent in preaching and converting the people she was led by the 
Spirit to a mountain near Seleucia, where she abode many years, and 
'underwent many grievous temptations, which she overcame by the help 
of the Lord. She enlightened many people, and wrought so many 
miraculous cures, that all the inhabitants of the city and adjacent 
countries brought their sick to that mountain, and when they came to 
the door of her cave they were instantly cured ; such great power had 
God bestowed on the Virgin Thecla I — insomuch that the physicians of 
Seleucia were held of no account, and lost all the profit of their trade, 
for no one regarded them. And they were filled with envy, and began 
to contrive how they should destroy her ; for they said within them- 
selves, * This woman must be a priestess of the great goddess Diana, 
and the wonders she performs are by virtue of her chastity ; and if we 
can destroy that, she will be vanquished : ' and they hired some fellows, 
sons of Belial, to go to the mountain and oflPer her violence. So they 
went, and the blessed Thecla came out to meet them, and they laid hold 
upon her, and she fled from them, praying for deliverance. And behold ! 

the rock opened behind her, forming a cavity so large that a man might 
enter in ; and she ran thither, and the roclc closed upon her, and she 
waa seen no more. The men stood perfectly astonished at so prodigious 
a miracle, and having caught hold of her veil, a piece of it remained in 
their hands as evidence of this great wonder. 

" Thus suffered the blessed virgin and martyr Thecla, who came from 
Iconium at eighteen years of age, and afterwards, partly in journeys and 
travels, and partly in a monastic life in the cave, lived seventy-two 
years; so that she was ninety years of age when the Lord trans- 
lated her," 


Although the lions spared St Thecla, she is considered the first 
female martyr, and is honoured as such in the Greek Church. In the 
Latin Church the particular veneration professed for her by St Martin 
of Tours, in the fourth century, contributed to render her highly 
popular ; yet I have met with very few representations of her. 

In the devotional pictures and miniatures she generally wears a loose 
mantle of dark brown or grey, and holds the palm. Several wild beasts 
are around her. 

In a Madonna picture by Lorenzo Costa she stands on one side of 
the Virgin and Child, arrayed in a long robe of a violet colour, holding 
the palm; and with no other attribute: the figure and attitude are 
singularly elegant; the countenance mild, thoughtful, and sweet.^ (141) 

In a picture by Marinari she is seen in prison, her hands fettered, 
and an angel presents to her fruit and flowers * : of this incident there 
is no mention in the legend I have cited. As yet I have not met with 
any picture in which Paul and Thecla are represented together : such 
may possibly exist The scene in the dungeon, with Paul teaching and 
Thecla seated at his feet, would be a beautiful subject. 

St. Euphemia of Chalcedonia, Virgin and Marttr. 

Ital Sant* Eufemia. Fr, Sainte Euphemio. Sept. 16. a.d. 307. 

This Greek saint, with her soft musical name and the fame of her 
beauty and her fortitude, is one of those whom the Eastern Church has 
distinguished by the epithet Great She is particularly interesting in 
the history of Art, for all that can be certainly known of her rests on 
the description of a picture, which description, however, is so ancient, 
and so well authenticated that it leaves no doubt as to the principal 
circumstances pertaining to her — her existence, her name, the manner 
of her martyrdom, and the place where she suffered. I have already 
alluded to this picture, as an evidence of the style and signification of 
such representations in very early times. 

It has happened that a few of the homilies of Asterius, bishop of 

' Bologna Gal. ' Engravcil under this name in the Etruria PUtrice; i>erbap8 a St. Dorolhen. 


Amasea in Pontus, who lived and wrote between 350 and 400, have 
been preserved to us, and among them is a homily preached on the day 
consecrated to the memory of St. Euphenua.^ The bishop, to excite the 
imagination and the zeal of his congregation, displays a picture of the 
saint, at the same time describing it most eloquently in detail, 

" We see her," he says, ** in this picture, portrayed with all that 
beauty and grace which distinguished her in her lifetime, yet with that 
modesty and gravity which showed her inward spirit : and attired in the 
plain dark-brown mantle which in Greece was worn by the philosophers, 
and which expressed a renunciation of all worldly pleasures and vain 

" We see her brought before the judge Prisons by two soldiers, one 
of whom drags her forward; the other pushes her on behind. But 
though from modesty her eyes are cast down, there is an expression in 
her face, which shows it is not fear. We see her, in another part of the 
picture, tortured by two executioners, one of whom has seized her long 
hair, and pulls back her head, to force her to raise it ; the other strike? 
her on the mouth with a wooden mallet; the blood flows from her lips ; 
and at the piteous sight, tears flow from the eyes of the spectators; 
their hearts melt within them. 

" In the background is seen the interior of a dungeon. St. Euphemia, 
seated on the earth, raises her hands to heaven, and prays for mercy, and 
for strength to bear her sufferings : over her head, behold 1 the cros^ 
appears ; either to show her confidence in the sign of our redemption, or 
to signify that she too must suffer. Then, near to the prison we see $l 
pile of faggots kindled, and in the midst stands the beautiful and 
courageous martyr. She extends her arms towards heaven; her 
countenance is radiant with hope, with faith, with joy." 

The description ends here, and Asterius does not mention any further 
circumstances attending her martyrdom ; but, according to the legend, 
the flames, as was usual in such cases, were rendered innocuous by 
miraculous intervention : she was then thrown to the lions ; but they 

* It i8 cited in the collection of ** Les Pdres de TEglise," toI. v. 


crouched and licked her feet, and refused to harm her. Priscus, on 
seeing this, was like to swoon with despite and mortification ; so one of 
his soldiers, to do him a pleasure, rushed upon the maiden, and trans- 
fixed her with his swonL This form of the legend must have prevailed 
in the time of St. Ambrose ; but in other Legendaries it is related that 
the lions attacked her, but did not devour her, and that the executioner 
finished her with the sword. 

St Euphemia suffered in the tenth persecution, at Chalcedonia in 
Bithynia, not far from Byzantium, and about the year 307 or 311. 
The picture described by Asterius must have been executed soon after 
the death of the saint, when her memory was fresh in the minds of the 
people, and at a period when classical Art, though on the decline, 
retained at least its splendid forms, and influenced all the Christian 
representations. We may therefore infer the beauty and the accuracy 
of the delineation ; it shows also that the manner of representing many 
scenes in the same picture already prevailed. 

So ancient was the worship paid to St. Euphemia, that within a cen- 
tury after her death there were four churches dedicated to her in Con- 
stantinople alone; others in Rome, Alexandria ^ Carthage; in short, 
throughout the East and West, temples rose everywhere to her honour, 
and many wonderful mintcles were imputed to her. In the beginning 
of* the eighth century, Leo the Iconoclast ordered her church to be 
profaned, and her relics to be cast into the sea : but this only increased 
the devotion paid to her ; the relics reappeared in the island of Lemnos, 
and thence were dispersed to many places, even to France. In the 
Western Church, she was accepted as a saint in the fourth century, and 
a church was dedicated to her in Rome in the fifth. Every one who 
has visited Verona will recollect the beautiful church which bears her 
name.* Though so celebrated in the early times, her popularity has 
diminished ; or has been superseded by the fame of later saints. 

" See Vol. L p. 150. 

* Whether the St. Euphemia who is reverenced all through Lombardj be identical with 
the Greek saint is not clear. In the Italian legend she has a sister Innocentioy who snfiered 
martyrdom with her. The remains of St. Euphemia and St Innocentia are said to have been 
brought from Aqnilcia and deposited in the cathedral of Vicenza about 1350. w. Cat. 
Sanctorum Italia?, p. 595. 


A very early mos^c represents St. Kuphemia standing between two 
serpents, but I do not find any mention of serpents in the legends I have 
consulted.' In all the representations since the revival of Art, she has 
the lion and the sword. Thus she appears in a beautiful and dignified 
figure by Andrea Mantegna, with the lily, emblem of chastity, in one 
hand, in the other the palm. The sword 
in her bosom, the Hon at her side.* 

In the church of St Euphemia 
at Milan there is one most admi- 
rable picture, a throned Virgin and 
Child by Marco Oggione. The Virgin 
hue all the intellectual dignity and cha- 
racter of the school of Lionardo : the 
Child bends towards St. Catherine, 
who kneels, presented by St Ambrose: 
on the other side kneels St Euphe- 
mia, presented by John the Baptist; 
she has an instrument of torture at 
her feet which looks like a saw. It is 
a magnificent example of the Milanese 

In a picture by Simonc Cantarini, 
she is represented standing with her 
lion at her side, and pointing to the 
Virgin in glory ; she wears a yellow 
tunic buttoned down the front, ^ crim- 
son mantle, and a white veil thrown 

111, Lia St. EuplinnU, (Andru Mutegnt.) 

over her head.' 

In her church at Verona she stands over one of the altars, bearing 
her palm, and accompanied by her lions. I have never met with any 
historical picture from her life. 

' At Florence SLVBrdJana is ropreBent«d between two serpenu. Slie was a VallombrotUn 
hqil See Legends of Moniuttc Orders. 

■ Cremona. In the San Maoriiio at Milan, there 'a a lovelj figure of a female Mint, 
crowned, with a Bword in her boeom, called a St. Ursula, which I believe to represent Si. 
Eaphemia. j Bologna Gal. 

VOL. II. z 


Many other Christian mirtyrs were exposed in the amphitheatres, 
principally at Rome, at Carthage, and at Lyons, where the taste for 
these horrid spectacles was most prevalent ; but they are not interesting 
as subjects of Art, I must regret that the martyrdom of Vivia Per- 
petua and Felicitas has never been worthily treated : in fact, I have 
never seen any ancient representation of St. Perpetua, except in the 
mosaic at Ravenna*; and therefore, confining myself within the limits 
assigned to this work, I shall not dwell upon her fate. The well- 
authenticated story of these two women, of their high-hearted constancy 
and meek fortitude, has been told so beautifully by Mr. Milman, that I 
pass it over with the less regret ; only observing, that as her history is 
accepted as authentic by Protestants, it remains open to Protestant 
artists. It affords not one but many scenes of surpassing interest, full 
of picturesque and dramatic sentiment, and capable of being treated with 
the utmost tragic pathos, without touching on the horrible and revolt- 
ing. Perpetua binding up her tresses in the amphitheatre, after she 
had been exposed before the people and wounded by the wild beasts let 
loose upon her, is an image one can hardly endure to bring before the 
fancy: but Perpetua in prison ; before her judges; turning from her 
father; taking leave of her infant child*; and rising superior to every 
temptation, every allurement, to deny her Redeemer : Perpetua going 
forth, accompanied by the slave Felicitas (herself recently a mother), 
to meet a frightful death, with a mild, womanly spirit, without assump- 
tion or defiance; both young, with nothing to sustain them but faith, 
and that courage from on high which has never been denied to those 
who steadfastly trust in the Hereafter; — these, surely, are themes 
which in their lofty beauty might be held not unworthy of Christian 
Art and Christian sympathy in our times. It is rare to find any sacred 
subject of deep and general interest almost untouched ; but here the 
field is open.* 

* V. p. 525. * HeiT Vogel of Dresden has lately painted a fine picture of St. 

Perpetaa looking through the bars of her prison at her infant child. 

" *♦ The Acts of St. Perpetua and St Felicitas," though considered authentic by all the best 
ecclesiastical writers, were unknown to the early artists. She is commemorated by Tertullian 
and St Augustine, and her story at length may be found in Baillct, *♦ Vies des Saints'* 
March 7. Sec also, " Vivia Perpetua, a Dramatic Poem, in Five Acts," by Sarah Flower Adams. 

ST. PH0CA8. 066 

St. Felicitas, the African slave and companion of St. Perpetua^ must 
not be confounded with St. Felicitas^ the noble Roman matron, whose 
story I have placed among the Roman Martyrs. 

St. Phocas op Sinope, Mabtyr. 

Ital San Focik. The Greek patron of gardens and gardeners. July 3. a.d. 303. 

Towards the end of the third century a holy man named Phocas dwelt 
outside the gate of the city of Sinope, in Pontus, and lived by cultivat- 
ing a little garden, the produce of which, after supplying his own neces- 
sities, he distributed to the poor. Uniting prayer and contemplation 
with labour and charity, his garden was to him an instructive book, his 
flowers supplied him with a fund of holy meditation, and his little 
cottage was open to all strangers and travellers who were in want of a 

One night, as he sat at his frugal supper of herbs^ some strangers 
knocked at his door, and he invited them to enter and repose themselves. 
He set food before them, and gave them water for their feet ; and when 
they had eaten and were refreshed, he asked them concerning their 
business. They told him that they were sent there in search of a certain 
Phocas, who had been denounced as a Christian ; and that they were 
commissioned to kill him wherever they should find him. The servant 
of God, without betraying any surprise, conducted them to a chamber 
of repose, and when they were at rest he went into his garden and dug 
a grave amid the flowers. The next morning he went to his guests and 
told them that Phocas was found ; and they, rejoicing, asked, " Where 
is the man ? " He replied, " I myself am he." They started back, 
unwilling to imbrue their hands in the blood of their host ; but he 
encouraged them, saying, " Since it is the will of God, I am willing to 
die in His cause." Then they led him to the brink of the grave, struck 
off his head, and buried him therein. 

z 2 


This interesting old saint appears in the Greek pictures and mosaics. 
Those who visit St Mark's at Venice will find him in the vestibule on 
the left hand^ among the saints who figure singly on the vault, standing 
in colossal guise, with a venerable beard, in the dress of a gardener, and 
holding a spade in his hand. His name is inscribed, and also 
distinguishes a similar figure in the Cathedral of Monreale, at Palermo. 
Except in genuine Byzantine Art, I have not met with St. Phocas. 
The Latin patron saint of gardeners is St. Fiacre, an Irish saint 
domiciliated in France. Turn to his legend further on. 

St. Pantaleon of Nicomedia, Martyr. 

Id Greek, Panteleemon, which signifies ** all-merciftil." ItaL San Pantaleone. Patron of 

physicians. July 27. fourth century. 

It is Interesting to observe that saints of the medical profession have 
been especially popular in the great trading towns, such as Venice, 
Florence, Lyons, Marseilles ; — cities which, through their intercourse 
with the East, and the influx of strangers, were constantly exposed to 
the plague and other epidemic disorders. I have already spoken of 
St. Roch, St. Cosmo, and St. Damian, with reference to those loca- 
lities. St. Pantaleon, another of these beatified physicians, is par- 
ticularly interesting in Venetian Art, and his odd Greek name familiar 
to all who remember Venice. Those critics who seem inclined to doubt 
his real existence, and who have derived his name from the Venetian 
war-cry, Pianta Leone! "Plant the Lion!" are, I think, mistaken, 
for he was a Greek saint of celebrity in the sixth century, when Jus- 
tinian dedicated to him a church at Constantinople ; and I think it more 
probable that the Venetians introduced him into their city from die 

According to the legend, Pantaleon was bom at Nicomedia in 
Bitliynia, the son of a heathen father and a Christian mother, and, after 
having made himself master of all the learning and science of the Greeks, 


he attached himself particularly to the study of medicine. The legend 
adds that he was remarkable for his beautiful person and graceful 
manners^ and that he became the favourite physician of the Emperor 
Galerius Maximian. 

During his residence in this heathen court, Pantaleon was in danger 
of forgetting all the Christian precepts which he had learned from his 
mother. But, fortunately, a venerable Christian priest, named Her- 
molaus, undertook to instruct him, and Pantaleon became an ardent 
Christian. When the persecution broke out, knowing that he could 
not remain concealed, like his master Hermolaus, he saw plainly that he 
must anticipate a cruel martyrdom; and, instead of endeavouring to 
escape, he prepared himself to meet it by those acts of charity for which 
his profession as physician afforded so many opportunities. He went 
about healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind, raising the dead, or 
those who were nigh to death. And being, in the midst of these good 
works, accused before the emperor, he obtained, as he had desired, the 
glorious crown of martyrdom, being beheaded together with his aged 
master Hermolaus, who came forth from his retreat to share his fate ; 
but for Pantaleon, they first bound him to an olive tree, and, according 
to the poetical legend, no sooner had his blood bathed the roots of the 
tree than it burst forth into leaves and fruit. 

This saint is unifonnly represented young, beardless, and of a 
beautiful countenance. As patron, he wears the loflg loose robe of a 
physician, and sometimes, in allusion to the circumstances of his 
martyrdom, he holds the olive instead of the palm, or both together. 
As martyr, he stands bound to an olive tree, with both hands over his 
head, and a nail driven through them into the trunk of the tree ; the 
sword at his feet. In such pictures we must distinguish between 
St. Pantaleon and St. Sebastian. 

His church at Venice is particularly interesting to those who love to 
study Venetian character. It is the parish church of a dense and 
populous neighbourhood, and I used to go there more for the sake of 
looking at the people — the picturesque mothers with their infants, the 
little children reciting their catechism — than to study Art and pictures. 
The walls are covered with the beneficent actions of the saint, and with 
scriptural incidents which have reference to the healing art. None of 


these, however, are particularly good. Among them are the following 
subjects : — 

1 . The saint heals a sick child : by Paul Veronese. 2. He nuses a 
dead man. 3. His charities to the poor, and various miracles, are upon 
the ceiling, by Fumiani ; while in other parts of the church we see the 
pool of Bethesda, the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and other works 
of healing and charity. St Pantaleon was at one time very popular at 
Lyons, but I know not whether any vestiges remain of the reverence 
formerly paid to him there ; nor do I remember any pictures representing 
him except at Venice. 

St. Dorothea op Cappadocia, Virgin and Martyr. 

Ital. Santa Dorotca. Fr. Sainte Dorothee. Feb. 6. aj). 303. 

" In the province of Cappadocia, and in the city of Cesarea, dwelt a 
noble virgin, whose name was Dorothea. In the whole city there was 
none to be compared to her in beauty and grace of person. She was a 
Christian, and served God day and night with prayers, with fasting, and 
with alms. 

" The governol" of the city, by name Sapritius (or Fabricius), was a 
very terrible persecutor of the Christians, and hearing of the maiden, 
and of her great beauty, he ordered her to be brought before hinL She 
came, with her mantle folded on her bosom, and her eyes meekly cast 
down. The governor asked, * Who art thou ? ' and she replied, * I am 
Dorothea, a virgin, and a servant of Jesus Christ' He said, * Thou 
must serve our gods, or die.' She answered mildly, * Be it so ; the 
sooner shall I stand in the presence of Him whom I most desire to 
behold,' Then the governor asked her, * Whom meanest thou ? * She 
replied, * I mean the Son of God, Christ, mine espoused 1 his dwelling 
is paradise ; by his side are joys eternal ; and in his garden grow celestial 
fruits and roses that never fade.' Then Sapritius, overcome by her 
eloquence and beauty, ordered her to be carried back to her dungeon. 
And he sent to her two sisters, whose names were Calista and Christeta, 


who had once been Christians, but who, from terror of the torments 
with which they were threatened, had renounced their faith in Christ. 
To these women the governor promised large rewards if they would 
induce Dorothea to follow their evil example; and they, nothing 
doubting of success, boldly undertook the task. The result, however, 
was far different ; for Dorothea, full of courage and constancy, reproved 
them as one having authority, and drew such a picture of the joys they 
had forfeited through their falsehood and cowardice, that they fell at her 
feet, saying, * O blessed Dorothea, pray for us, that, through thy inter- 
cession, our sin may be forgiven and our penitence accepted ! ' And 
she did so. And when they had left the dungeon they proclaimed aloud 
that they were servants of Christ 

** Then the governor, furious, commanded that they should be burned, 
and that Dorothea should witness their torments. And she stood by, 
bravely encouraging them, and saying, * O my sisters, fear not I suffer 
to the end ! for these transient pangs shall be followed by the joys of 
eternal life ! ' Thus they died : and Dorothea herself was condemned 
to be tortured cruelly, and then beheaded. The first part of her 
sentence she endured with invincible fortitude. She was then led forth 
to death ; and, as she went, a young man, a lawyer of the city, named 
Theophilus, who had been present when she was first brought before the 
governor, called to her mockingly, * Ha 1 fair maiden, goest thou to join 
thy bridegroom? Send me, I pray thee, of the fruits and flowers of 
that same garden of which thou hast spoken 2 I would fain taste of 
them ! ' And Dorothea, looking on him, inclined her head with a gentle 
smile, and said, * Thy request, O Theophilus, is granted I ' Whereat he 
laughed aloud with his companions: but she went on cheerfully 
to death. 

" When she came' to the place of execution, she knelt down and 
prayed ; and suddenly appeared at her side a beautiful boy, with hair 
bright as sun-beams — 

" * A smooth-faced, glorious thing, 

With thousand blessings dancing in his eyes.* 

In his hand he held a basket containing three apples, and three fresh- 
gathered and fragrant roses. She said to him, • Carry these to Theo- 


philusy say that Dorothea hath sent them, and that I go before him to 
the garden whence they came, and await him there.' With these words 
she bent her neck, and received the death stroke. 

" Meantime the angel (for it was an angel) went to seek Theophilus, 
and found him still laughing in merry mood over the idea of the pro- 
mised gift. The angel placed before him the basket of celestial fruit 
and flowers, saying, * Dorothea sends thee these,' and vanbhed. What 
words can express the wonder of Theophilus ? Struck by the prodigy 
operated in his favour, his heart melted within him ; he tasted of the 
celestial fruit, and a new life was his ; he proclaimed himself a ser- 
vant of Christ, and, following the example of Dorothea, suffered with 
like constancy in the cause of truth, and obtained the crown of mar- 

St. Dorothea is represented with roses in her hand ; or crowned with 
roses * ; or offering a basket of fruit and flowers to the Virgin or the 
Infant Christ ; or attended by an angel holding a basket, in which are 
three apples and three roses. The last is the most peculiar and the 
most characteristic attribute : other saints have flowers, or are crowned 
with roses ; Dorothea alone has the attendant angel holding the basket 
of fruit and flowers. She bears the palm of course, and occasionaUy the 
crown, as martyr. 

St. Dorothea is more popular in the German and Flemish than the 
Italian schools, and there are few early pictures of her. I found her in 
an old Siena picture, with roses in her lap, and holding a bouquet of 
roses in her hand.* Rubens and Vandyck have both painted her crowned 
with roses, and holding her palm. In a beautiful Madonna picture by 
Israel v. Melem, she stands on the left of the Virgin, crowned with 
roses, and with a basket of roses before her.' 

St. Dorothea and her companions, St. Calista and St. Christeta, are 
represented in three ancient marble statues in the Chiesa delF Abazia at 
Venice, attributed to the Maestro Bartolomeo (fourteenth century). 


* It is usaal in catalogues and descriptions of pictures to find St Dorothea called St 
Rosalia or St Rosa ; a mistake arising from the attribute of the roses. St Rosalia and St 
Rosa will be found among the " Monastic Legends.*' 

' Siena Acad. ' Boissercc GaL 


lit St. I>Dra>liM. (Gtrman.) 144 SI. Danthti. {SIidl) 

The principal incident of her legend \a bo picturesque and poeticab 
that one is surprised not to meet with it oflener ; in fact I have never 
met with it ; yet the interview between Dorothea and Theophilus, and 
afterwards between Theophilus and the angel, are beautiful subjects : 
the firat scene has a tra^c interest, and the latter an allegorical signifi- 
cance ae well as a picturesque beauty, which should have recommended 
them to painters. 

The martyrdom of St. Dorothea has been several times painted. The 
picture by Jacopo Ligozzi ia a grand scenic composition, in the style of 
his ma9t«r Paul Veronese, and almost equal to him. The scaffold, and 
near it, on horseback, the inexorable Sapritiue, who has just given the 



command to strike ; the ferocious executioner ; the figure of the gentle 
and beautiful yictim^ kneeling with an expression of placid faith ; the 
angels hovering with garlands of roses above, and the various attitudes 
of the spectators; — are all admirably painted in the dramatic, or rather 
scenic, style proper to the schooL* 

Carlo Dolce, St Dorothea kneeling, with hands boimd, and by her 
side the angel with his basket of celestial fruit and flowers : one of his 
best pictures; the sweetness and elegance of his manner suited the 
subject, and he is here less tame than usual' 

Rubens. St. Dorothea standing, with roses and palm. 

Vandyck. St Dorothea standing, with her palm, roses, and apples 
from Paradise.' 

The legend of Dorothea is the subject of Massinger^s tragedy of 
^* The Virgin Martyr ; " he was assisted by Decker, to whom the critics 
attribute much that is coarse, offensive, and profane in the dialogue. It 
contains, however, scenes and passages of great beauty ; and these are 
given without the alloy in Murray's *^ Family Library." ^ One critic 
observes that of the character of the heroine " it is impossible to speak 
too highly ; her genuine and dignified piety, her unshaken constancy, 
her lofty pity for her persecutors, her calm contempt of torture, and her 
heroic death, exalt the mind in no ordinary degree." The religious 
action is varied and rendered more romantic by making Antoninus, the 
brave and amiable son of the cruel Sapritius, in love with Dorothea : 
for her sake he refuses the daughter of Diocletian, and Dorothea's last 
prayer is for him : — 

^ Grant that tbe love of this yoang man for me, 
In which he languishes to death, may be 
Changed to the love of Heaven ! '* 

Her prayer is granted ; Antoninus is converted, and dies of grief on 
witnessing her cruel martyrdom. The last scene between Theophilus 
and the Emperor Diocletian is ascribed wholly to Massinger. It con- 
tains the fine passage in which the Christian saint is exalted above the 
classical heroines of antiquity : — 

* Brescia, PP. Conventoali. ' Darmstadt Gal. 

• Both pictures are engraved by Galle. ♦ Dramatic Series, voL i. 


** Dorothea bat hereafter named 
Tou will rise up with reyerence, and no more, 
Ab things onworthjr of jour thoughts, remember 
What the canonised Spartan ladies were, 
Which lying Greece so boasts of. Tour own matrons, 
Tour Roman dames, whose figures jou yet keep 
As holy relics, in her history 
Will find a second urn : Gracchus' Cornelia, 
Paulina, that in death desired to follow 
Her husband Seneca, nor Brutus* Portia, 
That swallow'd burning coals to oyertake him, — 
Though all their several worths were given to one. 
With this is to be mention'd. 

** They, out of desperation, 
Or for vainglory of an after-name, 
Parted with life : this had not mutinous sons 
As the rash Gracchi were ; nor was this saint 
A doting mother as Cornelia was. 
This lost no husband in whose overthrow 
Her wealth and honour sank ; no fear of want 
Did make her being tedious ; but aiming 
At an immortal crown, and in His cause 
Who only can bestow it, who sent down 
Legions of ministering angels to bear up 
Her spotless soul to heaven, who entertained it 
With choice celestial music equal to 
The motion of the spheres ; she, uncompell^d, 
Changed this life for a better.** 

St. Ctprian and St. Justina op Antioch. 

ItaL San Cipriano il Mago e Santa Giustina. Fr, St. Cyprien le Hagiden et Sainte 

Justine. Sept. 26. a.d. 304. 

It is surprising that this very beautiful and antique legend has not 
oftener been treated as a subject of Art It is full of picturesque capa- 
bilities of every kind. Calderon founded on it one of his finest autos, 
the ** Magico Prodigioso ; " part of which — the scene in which the 
maiden is tempted by demons — Shelley has beautifully translated. 
Though I have never met with the story in Western Art, except in one 
or two miniatures, others may have been more fortunate ; for which 
reason^ and because of its singular beauty, I give it at length. 

▲ ▲2 


" In the city of Antioch dwelt a virgin wonderfully fair, and good, 
and wise ; her name was Justina. She was the daughter of a priest of 
the idols ; but having listened to the teaching of the Gospel, she not 
only became a Christian herself, but converted her parents to the true 
faith. Many looked upon this beautiful maiden with eyes of love ; 
among them a noble youth of the city of Antioch, whose name was 
Aglaides ; and he wooed her with soft words and gifts, but all in vain, 
for Justina had devoted herself to the service of God and a life of chastity 
and good works, and she refused to listen to him ; and he was well nigh 
in desperation. 

" Now in the same city of Antioch dwelt Cyprian the magician, a 
man deeply versed in all the learning of the pagan philosophers, and 
moreover addicted from his youth to the study of astrology and necro- 
mancy. When he had exhausted all the learning of his own country, 
he travelled into the East, into the land of the Chaldees, and into 
Egypt; and to Argos, and to Athens; and he had made himself familiar 
with all terrible and forbidden arts. He had subjected to his might the 
spirits of darkness and the elements; he could command the powers of 
hell ; he could raise storms and tempests, and transform men and women 
into beasts of burthen. It was said that he offered the blood of children 
to his demons, and many other crimes were imputed to him, too dread- 
ful to be here related. 

" Aglaides being, as I have said, in despair and confusion of mind 
because of the coldness of Justina, repaired to Cyprian ; for he said, 
* Surely this great magician, who can command the demons and the 
elements, can command the will of a weak maiden : ' then he explained 
the matter to him, and required his help. But no sooner had Cyprian 
beheld the beautiful and virtuous maiden, than he became himself so 
deeply enamoured, that all rest departed from him, and he resolved to 
possess her. As yet, nothing had been able to resist his power, and, 
full of confidence, he summoned his demons to his aid. He commanded 
them to fill the mind of the chaste Justina with images of earthly 
beauty, and to inflame and pollute her fancy with visions of voluptuous 
delight. She was oppressed, she was alarmed, she felt that these were 
promptings of the evil one, and she resisted with all her might, being 
well assured that as long as her will remained unconquered, Christ and 


the Virgin would help her; — and it was so; for when she invoked them 
against her enemy, he left her in peace, and fled. 

When Cyprian found that his demon was foiled, he called up another, 
and then another, and at length the prince of darkness himself came to 
his aid : but it was all in vain. Justina was fearfully troubled, her pure 
and innocent mind became the prey of tumultuous thoughts ; demons 
beset her couch, haunted her sleep, poisoned the very atmosphere she 
breathed ; but she said to her almost failing heart, ^I will not be dis- 
couraged, I will strive with the evil which besets me ; thought is not in 
our power, but action is ; my spirit may be weak, but my will is firm ; 
what I do not will, can have no power over me.' Thus, although 
grievously tempted and tormented, she stood fast, trusting in the God 
whom she worshipped, and conquered at last, not by contending, but 
by never owning herself subdued, and strong in her humility only by 
not consenting to ill. So the baffled demon returned to his master and 
said, * I can do nothing against this woman ; for, being pure and sinless 
in will, she b protected by a power greater than thine or mine! ' 

^* Then Cyprian was astonished, and his heart was melted ; and he 
said to the demon, * Since it is so, I contemn thee and thy power ; and 
I will henceforth serve the God of Justina.' He went therefore, full of 
repentance and sorrow, and, falling at her feet, acknowledged the might 
of her purity and innocence, and confessed himself vanquished ; upon 
which she forgave hhn freely, and rejoiced over him ; and in her great 
joy she cut off her beautiful hair, and made an offering of it before the 
altar of the Virgin, and gave much alms to the poor. 

^^ Soon afterwards Cyprian was baptized and became a fervent 
Christian ; all his goods he distributed to the poor, and became as re- 
markable for his piety, abstinence, and profound knowledge of the 
Scriptures, as he had formerly been for his diabolical arts, his wicked- 
ness, his luxury, and his pride. Such was his humility that he under- 
took the meanest offices for the service of the fuithfnl, and he and 
Justina mutually strengthened and edified each other by their virtues 
and by their holy conversation. 

" At this time broke forth the last and most terrible persecution 
against the Christians ; and when the governor of Antioch found that 
no menaces could shake the faith of Cyprian and Justina, he ordered 


them to be thrown together into a caldron of boiling pitch ; but by a 
miracle they escaped unharmed. The governor then, fearing the people, 
who venerated Cyprian and Justina, sent them with an escort to the 
Emperor Diocletian, who was then at Nicomedia languishing in sick- 
ness ; and the emperor, hearing that they were Christians, without any 
form of trial ordered them to be instantly beheaded ; which was done. 
Thus they received together the crown of martyrdom, and in name and 
in fame have become inseparable. 

When St Cyprian and St Justina are represented together, he is 
arrayed in the habit of a Greek bishop, without a mitre, bearing the 
palm and sword, and trampling his magical books under his feet : she 
holds the palm ; and a unicorn, the emblem of chastity, crouches at her 

In that Greek MS. of the works of Gregory Nazianzen to which I 
have so often referred, as containing the earliest known examples of the 
treatment of legendary subjects, I found the story of Cyprian and 
Justioa in four miniatures.^ 

1. Justina seeks refuge at the feet of Christ, from the demon who 
pursues her. 2. Cyprian engaged in his magical incantations, burning 
incense, &c, and a demon rises behind him. 3. He is kneeling as a 
penitent at the feet of Justina. 4. They suffer martyrdom together. 
The figures, ruined as they are, most freely and nobly designed. 

Everyone who has been at Vienna will probably remember the 
St Justina of the Belvedere, so long attributed to Pordenone, but now 
known to be the production of a much greater man, Bonvicino of 
Brescia (II Moretto). She stands in a landscape ; one hand sustains 
her drapery, the other holds her palm ; she looks down, with an air of 
saintly dignity blended with the most benign sweetness, on a kneeling 
votary. This sketch (145) will give an idea of the composition; but 
nothing — no copy, no description — could convey the expression of the 
countenance, which has the character of Venetian beauty, elevated by 
such a serious and refined grace, that the effect of the combination is 
quite inconceivable. There is a tradition relative to this picture which 

* Paris Bib. Nat. MSS. Grecques, a.d. 867. 


greatly enhnnces its interest; it is said to represent AJplionso I. of 
Ferrara at the feet of Donna Laura Eustochio: she was a hcautiful 
woman of low origin, whom Alphonso married after the death of 
Liicretia Borgia ; some saj she had been his mistress, but this is not 
certmn ; and, at all events, when Duchess of Ferrara she won bj her 
virtues the respect and love of all classes : the people of Ferrara held 


her in such reverence, that once, when threatened by an inundation, 
they imputed their preservation solely to her prayers.^ 

It is not easy to distinguish St Justina of Antioch from another 
saint of the same name, St. Justina of Padua, the more especially as 
the painters themselves appear to have confounded them. The reader, 
therefore, will do well to turn at once to the legend of Justina of 
Padua, farther on : she is much more popular in Western Art than the 
Greek heroine and martyr of Antioch, but not nearly so interesting. 

St. Apollonia of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr, 

Fr, Sainte ApoUine. Patroness against toothach, and all diseases of the teeth. Feb. 9. 

A.D. 250. 

'* There dwelt in the city of Alexandria a magistrate who had great 
riches, but he and his wife also were heathens. They had no children, 
and day and night they besought their false gods to grant them a son 
or a daughter to inherit their wealth. Meantime, for so it pleased God, 
three pious pilgrims, servants of the Lord, arrived in the city, and, 
being hungry and weary, they begged an alms for the love of the 
Redeemer and the Blessed Virgin his mother. Now as they were thus 
begging opposite to the house of the magistrate, his wife, being 
astonished, called to them and said, ^ What new manner of begging is 
this ? in whose name do ye ask alms ? ' Then the pilgrims preached to 
her the merits of Christ and of the Virgin. The woman, being greatly 
moved by their words, asked whether it were possible that the Virgin- 
mother of God, of whom they spoke, could grant her prayer to have a 
child? And they answered, without doubt. Thereupon she called 
them in, and gave them alms, and meat and drink ; and addressed her 
prayer, full of faith, to the Holy Virgin. Her prayer was heard, and 
she brought forth a daughter, to whom she gave the name of Apollonia. 

* According to Ticozzi, Titian painted her several times, e nuda, e vtstittu I have never 
seen in any gallery a portrait by Titian recognised as the portrait of Donna Laura ; bat, for 
several reasons, on which I cannot enlarge in this place, I believe the famous picture in the 
Louvre, styled " Titian's Mistress," to be the portrait of this peasant-duchess. She died in 


" As the maiden grew up and flourished as a flower in grace and 
beauty^ her mother ceased not to relate to her the wonderful circum- 
stances of her birth ; and thus she became a true Christian at hearty and 
with a longing wish to be baptized. With thb purpose* and directed 
by an angel, she found her way to St. Leonine, the disciple of St. 
Anthony, and desired to be made a Christian ; so he baptized her ; and 
suddenly there appeared an angel holding a garment of dazzling white, 
which he threw over the maiden, saying, * This is ApoUonia, the 
servant of Jesus I go now to Alexandria, and preach the faith of Chrbt.' 
She, hearing the divine voice, obeyed, and preached to the people with 
wondrous eloquence. Many were converted ; others ran to complain 
to her father, and to accuse her of breaking the law ; but she defended 
herself; and her father, incensed, gave her up to the power of the 
heathen governor, who commanded her instantly to fall down and 
worship the idol set up in the city. Then St. Apollonia, being brought 
before the idol, made the sign of the cross, and commanded the demon 
who dwelt within it to depart ; and the demon, uttering a loud cry, broke 
the statue, and fled, shrieking out, * The Holy Virgin Apollonia drives 
me forth!' The tyrant, seeing this, ordered her to be bound to a 
column ; and all her beautiful teeth were pulled out, one by one, with a 
pair of pincers ; then a fire was kindled, and as she persisted in the faith, 
she was flung into it, and gave up her soul to God, being carried into 
heaven by his angels.** 

The cautious Baillet admits that the Virgin Apollonia was put to 
death in a tumult of the people against the Christians, and that ^ ils lui 
cass^rent d'abord toutes les dents par des coups horribles.*' But the 
above is the legend followed by the painters. 

St. Apollonia is represented with the palm as martyr, and holding a 
pair of pincers with a tooth : or the pincers, as in later pictures, are 
placed near her; in the beautiful picture of St Apollonia in our 
National Gallery, the pincers are lying on a table; in a picture by 
Hemlinck, she wears a golden tooth, suspended as an ornament to her 
neck-chain. There is a St Apollonia by Furini in the Rinuccini 
Palace at Florence, a head of singular beauty, bent back, as if preparing 
for the torture ; the ferocious executioner seen behind. She does not, 



however^ appear to be popular as a patron saints nor are pictures of her 
very common. The finest I have seen is that by Francesco Granaod 
in the Munich Gallery. It is a single figure^ nearly life-size, and forms 
one wing of a beautiM altar-piece, which Granacci punted for the sake 
of a favourite niece, who was a nun in the convent of St. Apollonia at 
Florence. Granacci was a favourite pupil of Michael Angelo, and 
caught some of his grandeur of form ; but in his treatment of a subject 
he rather resembles Ghirlandajo. On the predella beneath he repre- 
sented in six compartments the life of the saint. 1. St. Apollonia, after 
her baptism, hears the voice of angels sending her forth to preach the 
Gospel. 2. She is preaching to the people, — a noble figure; her 
auditors are principally old men, who appear to be pondering her words. 
3. She is brought before the judge, who, according to one version of the 
legend, was her father, and just such a cruel pagan as the father of St 
Barbara. 4. She is bound to a pillar, and scourged; the scene is a 
guard-room or prison, with soldiers in the background. 5. She is 
seated with her hands bound, and has all her teeth pulled out by an 
executioner. 6. She kneels, and a soldier behind is about to strike off 
her head with an axe. This predella, separated, as it often happens, 
from the principal subject, is now in the ^^ Accademia delle Belle Arti "* 
at Florence. 

It is necessary to observe that St. Apollonia has a pair of pincers, 
and St. Agatha a pair of shears, which in some of the old pictures are 
not well discriminated. 

The Martyrdom of St. Apollonia is sometimes found in the chapels 
dedicated to her. She is generally bound to a pillar, and an executioner 
stands near; I have never seen him in the very act of pulling out her 
teeth, except in one or two coarse miniatures. In the duomo at Milan, 
which does not abound in good pictures, one of the best is Procaccino's 
Martyrdom of St. Apollonia. 


The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus* 

ItaL Li Sette DormienU. Fr. Les Sept Donnants. Les Sept Enfkns d'Ephese. Ger. Die 

Sieben SchUUer. Jane 27. 

DuBiKG the persecution under the Emperor Decius^ there lived in the 
city of Ephesus seven young men^ who were Christians ; their names 
were Maximian, Malchus, Marcian^ Dionysius, John, Serapion^ and 
Constantine ; and as they refused to offer sacrifice to the idols, they were 
accused before the tribunaL But they fled and escaped to Mount 
Coelian, where they hid themselves in a cave. Being discovered, the 
tyrant ordered that they should roll great stones to the mouth of the 
cavern, in order that they might die of hunger. They, embracing each 
other, fell asleep. 

And it came to pass in the thirtieth year of the reign of the Emperor 
Theodosius, that there broke out that dangerous heresy which denied 
the resurrection of the dead. The pious emperor, being greatly 
afflicted, retired to the interior of his palace, putting on sackcloth and 
covering his bead with ashes: therefore God took pity on him, and 
restored his faith by bringing back these just men to life ; which came 
to pass in this manner. A certain inhabitant of Ephesus, repairing to 
the top of Mount Coelian to build a stable for his cattle, discovered the 
cavern; and when the light penetrated therein, the sleepers awoke^ 
believing that their slumber had only lasted for a single night ; they 
rose up, and Malchus, one of the number, was despatched to the city to 
purchase food. He, advancing cautiously and fearfiilly, beheld to hia 
astonishment the image of the cross surmounting the city-gate. He 
went to another gate, and there he found another cross. He rubbed 
his eyes, believing himself still asleep, or in a dream, and entering the 
city he heard everywhere the name of Christ pronounced openly; 
And he was more and more confounded. When he repaired to the 
baker*s, he offered in payment an ancient coin of the time of the 
Emperor Decius, and they looked at him with astonishment, thinking 
that be had found a hidden treasure. And when they accused him, he 
knew not what to reply. Seeing his confusion, they bound him and 

B B 2 


I - - - ■ _ - - _ — ^ . — ■ 

dragged him through the streets with contumely ; and be looked round, 
seeking some one whom he knew, but not a face in all the crowd was 
familiar to him. And being brought before the bbhop, the truth was 
disclosed to the great amazement of all. The bishop, the governor, and 
the principal inhabitants of the city, followed him to the entrance of the 
cavern, where the other six youths were found. Their faces had the 
freshness of roses, and the brightness of a holy light was around them. 
Theodosius himself, being informed of this great wonder, hastened to 
the cavern, and one of the sleepers said to him, '^ Believe in us, O 
Emperor I for we have been raised before the Day of Judgment, in 
order that thou mightest trust in the resurrection of the dead I '* And 
having said this, they bowed their heads and gave up their spirits to 
God. They had slept in their cavern for 196 years. 

Gibbon, in quoting this poetical fable, observes that the tradition may 
be traced to within half a century of the supposed miracle. About the 
end of the sixth century, it was translated from the Syriac into the 
Latin, and was spread over the whole of Western Christendom. Nor 
was it confined to the Christian world. Mahomet has introduced it as 
a divine revelation into the Koran. It has penetrated into Abyssinia. 
It has been found in Scandinavia : in fact, in the remotest regions of 
the Old World, this singular tradition, in one form or another, i^pears 
to have been known and accepted. 

The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, extended in their cave side by side, 
occur perpetually in the miniatures, ancient sculpture, and stained glass 
of the thirteeneh and fourteenth century. Thus they are represented in 
the frieze of the Chapel of Edward the Confessor at Westminster. In 
general the name of each is written over his head. They carry palms 
as martyrs. I have never seen them with any other attributes, but in 
the German " Iconographie ^ it is said that " in an old representation," 
not otherwise described as to age or locality, the seven sleepers are thus 
individualised; — John and Constantine bear each a club, Maximian 
has a knotted club, Malchus and Marcian have axes, Serapion a torch, 
and DIonysius a large nail. What these attributes may signify, — 
whether alluding to the trades they exercised, or the kind of martyrdom 
to which they were condemned, but did not sufier, — is not explained ; 
and I have never met with any effigies thus discriminated. 


Cl[)e l&tin iMartprs(^ 

the four great virgins of the latin church. 
St. Cecilia^ Virgin akd Marttb. 

Fr, Sointe C^Ie. The name in lulmn, Gkrman, and Spanish is the same as in English 
and Latin. Patroness of munc and mnsicians. Nor. 22. a.d. 280. 

St. Cecilia and St. Catherine present themselves before the fancy as 
the muses of Christian poetic art ; — the former presiding over music 
and song^ the latter over literature and philosophy. In their character 
of patron saints, we might therefore expect to find them oftener com- 
bined in the same picture ; for the appropriate difierence of expression 
in each — the grave, intellectual, contemplative dignity of St. Catherine, 
and the rapt inspiration of St Cecilia — present the most beautiful con- 
trast that a punter could desire. It is, however, but seldom that we 
find them together : when grouped with other saints, St. Cecilia is 
generally in companionship with St Agnes, and St Catherine with St 
Barbara or Mary Magdalene. To understand this apparent anomaly 
we must bear in mind that while the Greek patronesses, St Catherine, 
St Euphemia, St Barbara, St Margaret, are renowned throughout all 
Christendom, the Four Great Virgins of the Latin Church (for 
such is their proper designation), St Cecilia, St Agnes, St Agatha, 
and St Lucia, are almost entirely confined to Western Art, and fall 
naturally into companionship. Of these, the two first were Boman, and 
the two last Sicilian, martyrs. 

The beautiful legend of St Cecilia is one of the most ancient handed 
down to us by the early Church. The veneration pdd to her c^n be 
traced back to the third century, in which she is supposed to have lived; 
and there can be little doubt that the main incidents of her life and 
martyrdom are founded in fact, though mixed up with the usual amount 
of marvels, parables and precepts, poetry and allegory, not the less 


attractive and profitable for edification in times when men listened and 
believed with the undoubting faith of children. In this as in other 
instances, I shall make no attempt to separate historic truth from poetic 
fiction, but give the legend according to the ancient version, on which 
the painters founded their representations. 

** St. Cecilia was a noble Roman lady, who lived in the reign of the 
Emperor Alexander Severus. Her parents, who secretly professed 
Christianity, brpught her up in their own faith, and from her earliest 
childhood she was remarkable for her enthusiastic piety : she carried 
night and day a copy of the Gospel concealed within the folds of her 
robe ; and she made a secret but solemn vow to preserve her chastity, 
devoting herself to heavenly things, and shunning the pleasures and 
vanities of the world. As she excelled in music, she turned her good 
gift to the glory of God, and composed hymns, which she sang herself 
with such ravishing sweetness that even the angels descended from 
heaven to listen to her, or to join their voices with hers. She played 
on all instruments, but none sufiSced to breathe forth that flood of har- 
mony with which her whole soul was filled ; therefore she invented the 
organ, consecrating it to the service of God. 

*' When she was about sixteen, her parents married her to a yotmg 
Roman, virtuous, rich, and of noble birth, named Valerian^ He was, 
however, still in the darkness of the old religion. Cecilia, in obedience 
to her parents, accepted of the husband they had ordained for her ; but 
beneath her bridal robes she put on a coarse garment of penance, and, 
as she walked to the temple, renewed her vow of chastity, praying to 
God that she might have strength to keep it: — and it so fell out; for, 
by her fervent eloquence, she not only persuaded her husband Valerian 
^ respect her vow, but converted him to the true faith. She told him 
that she had a guardian angel who watched over her night and day, and 
would sufier no earthly lover to approach her, — 

** ' I have an angel which thus loveth me — 
That with great love, whether I wake or sleep, 
Is readj aye mj body for to keep.* ' 

* V, Chaucer ; -^ who haa given an almost literal version of the old legend in the '* Second 
Nonnes Tale." 


And when Valerian desired to see this angel^ she sent him to seek the 
aged St. Urban^ who^ being persecuted by the heathen, had sought 
refuge in the catacombs. After listening to the instruction of that holy 
man, the conversion of Valerian was perfected, and he was baptized. 
Betuming then to his wife, he heard, as he entered, the most enchanting 
music ; and, on reaching her chamber, beheld an angel, who was stand- 
ing near her, and who held in his hand two crowns of roses gathered in 
Paradise, immortal in their freshness and perfume, but invisible to the 
eyes of unbelievers. With these he encircled the brows of Cecilia and: 
Valerian, as they knelt before him ; and he said to Valerian, * Because 
thou hast followed the chaste coimsel of thy wife, and hast believed her 
words, ask what thou wilt, it shall be granted to thee.' And Valeriaq 
replied, ' I have a brother named Tiburtius, whom I love as my own 
soul ; grant that his eyes also may be opened to the truth.' And the 
angel replied with a celestial smile, * Thy request, O Valerian, is pleasing 
to Grod, and ye shall both ascend to His presence, bearing the palm of 
martyrdom.' And the %ngel, having spoken these words, vanished. 
Soon afterwards Tiburtius entered the chamber, and perceiving the 
fragrance of the celestial roses, but not seeing them, and knowing that 
it was not the season for flowers, he was astonished. Then Ceciliai 
turning to him, explained to him the doctrines of the Gospel, and set 
before him all that Christ had done for us ; — contrasting his divine 
mission, and all he had done and suffered for men, with the gross 
worship of idols, made of wood and stone ; and she spoke with such a 
convincing fervour, such a heaven-inspired eloquence, that Tiburtius 
yielded at once, and hastened to Urban to be baptized and strengthened 
in the fcuth. And all three went about doing good, giving alms, and 
encouraging those who were put to death for Christ's sake, whose bodies 
they buried honourably. 

** Now there was in thd&e days a wicked prefect of Rome, named 
Almachius, who governed in the emperor's absence \ and he sent for 
Cecilia and her husband and brother, and commanded them to desist 
from the practices of Christian charity. And they said, * How can we 
desist irom that which is our duty, for fear of anything that man can do 
unto ns ? ' The two brothers were then thrown into a dimgeon, and 
committed to the charge of a centurion named Maximus, whom they 


converted, and all three, refusing to join in the sacrifice to Jupiter^ were 
put to death. And Cecilia, having washed their bodies with her tears, 
and wrapped them in her robes, buried them together in the cemetery 
of Calixtus. Then the wicked Almachius, covetous of the wealth which 
Cecilia had inherited, sent for her, and commanded her to sacrifice to 
the gods, threatening her with horrible tortures in case of refusal ; she 
only smiled in scorn: and those who stood by wept to see one so young 
and so beautiful persisting in what they termed obstinacy and rashness, 
and entreated her to yield ; but she refused, and by her eloquent ap^ieal 
so touched their hearts, that forty persons declared themselves Chris- 
tians, and ready to die with her. Then Almachius, struck with terror 
and rage, exclaimed, * What art thou, woman ? ' and she answered, ' I 
am a Roman of noble race.' He said, * I ask of thy religion ? ' and she 
said, ^ Thou blind one, thou art already answered ! ' Almachius, more 
and more enraged, commanded that they should carry her back to her 
own house, and fill her bath with boiling water, and cast her into it ; 
but it had no more effect on her body than if she had bathed in a fresh 
spring. Then Almachius sent an executioner to put her to death with 
the sword ; but his hand trembled, so that after having given her three 
wounds in the neck and breast, he went his way, leaving her bleeding 
and half dead. She lived, however, for the space of three days, which 
she spent in prayers and exhortations to the converts, distributing to 
the poor all she possessed ; and she called to her St. Urban, and desired 
that her house, in which she then lay dying, should be converted into a 
place of worship for the Christians. Thus, full of faith and charity, 
and singing with her sweet voice praises and hymns to the last moment, 
she died at the end of three days. The Christians embalmed her 
body, and she was buried by Urban in the same cemetery with her 

According to her wish, the house of Cecilia was consecrated as a 
church, the chamber in which she suffered martyrdom being regarded 
as a spot of peculiar sanctity. There is mention of a council held in 
the church of St Cecilia by Pope Syramachus, in the year 500. After- 
wards, in the troubles and invasions of the barbarians, this ancient 
church fell into ruin, and was rebuilt by Pope Paschal I. in the ninth 

ST. CBCILU. 587 

century. It is related that, while engaged in this work. Paschal had a 
dream, in which St. Cecilia appeared to him, and revealed the spot in 
which she lay buried ; accordingly search was made, and her body was 
found in the cemetery of Calixtus, wrapt in a shroud of gold tissue, and 
round her feet a linen cloth dipt in her blood : near her were the 
remains of Valerian, Tibertius, and Maximus, which, together with 
hers, were deposited in the same church, now St. Cecilia-in-Trastevere. 
The little room, containing her bath, in which she was murdered or 
martyred, is now a chapel. The rich frescoes with which it was de- 
corated are in a state of utter ruin from age and damp ; but the ma- 
chinery for heating the bath, the pipes, the stoves, yet remain. This 
church, having again fallen into ruin, was again repaired, and sump- 
tuously embellished in the taste of the sixteenth century, by Cardinal 
Sfondrati. On this occasion the sarcophagus containing the body of 
St. Cecilia was opened with great solemnity in the presence of several 
cardinals and dignitaries of the Church, among others Cardinal Baro* 
nius, who has given us an exact description of the appearance of the 
body, which had been buried by Pope Paschal in 820, when exhumed 
in 1599. " She was lying," says Baronius, " within a coffin of cypress 
wood, enclosed in a marble sarcophagus ; not in the manner of one dead 
and buried, that is, on her back, but on her right side, as one asleep ; 
and in a very modest attitude ; covered with a simple stuff of taffety, 
having her head bound with cloth, and at her feet the remains of the 
cloth of gold and silk which Pope Paschal had found in her tomb." 
Clement YIII. ordered that the relics should remain untouched, in- 
violate ; and the cypress coffin was enclosed in a silver shrine, and 
replaced under the altar. This re-interment took place in presence of 
the pope and clergy, with great pomp and solemnity, and the people 
crowded in from the neighbouring towns to assist at the ceremony. 
Stefano Maderno, who was then in the employment of the Cardinal 
Sfondrati as sculptor and architect, and acted as his secretary, was not, 
we may suppose, absent on this occasion ; by the order of the Cardinal 
he executed the beautiful and celebrated statue of " St. Cecilia lying 
dead," which was intended to commemorate the attitude in which she 
was found. It is thus described by Sir Charles Bell : — " The body 
lies on its side, the limbs a little drawn up ; the hands are delicate and 

VOL. II. c c 


fine, — they are not locked, but crossed at the wrists: the arms are 
stretched out The drapery is beautifully modelled, and modestly 
covers the limbs. The head is enveloped in linen, but the general 
form is seen, and the artist hae contrived to convey by its position, 
though not offensively, that it is separated from the body. A gold 
circlet is round the neck, to conceal the place of decollation (?). It is 
the statue of a lady, perfect in form, and affecting from the resemblance 
to reality in the drapery of white marble, and the unspotted appearance 
of the statue altc^ether. It lies as no living body could lie, and yet 
correctly, aa the dead when left to expire, — I mean in the gravitation 
of the limbs." 

IM SuluB of Si, CocUla. In bu Chutcb it Rome. 

It must be remembered that Cecilia did not suffer decollation ; that 
her head was not separated from the body; and the gold band is to 
conceal the wound in the neck: otherwise, this description of the statue 
agrees exactly witli the description which Cardinal Daronius has given 
of the body of the saint when found in 1 599. 

The ornaments round the shrine, of bronze and rare and precious 
marbles, are in the worst taste, and do not harmonise with the pathetic 
simplicity of the figure. 

At what period St. Cecilia came to be regarded as the patron saint 
of music, and accompanied by the musical attributes, I cannot decide. 
It is certain that in the ancient devotional representations she is not 
so distinguished; nor in the old Italian series of subjects from her life 
have I found any in which she is figured as singing, or playing upon 


The oldest representation of St Cecilia I have met with is a rude 
picture or drawing discovered on the wall of the catacomb called the 
cemetery of San Lorenzo. It is a half-length, with the martyr's crown 
on her head, and her name inscribed.' 

Shrine of St, CkLLUu 

Next to this is the colossal mosaic figure in the apsis of her church at 
Rome. The composition is one of the moat majestic of these grand 
devotional groups. In the centre stands the Redeemer; the right hand, 
raised, gives the benediction in the Greek manner; in the led he has a 
roll of writing : on his left hand stands St. Peter with the keys, beyond 
him St. Cecilia with a crown in her hand, and her husband St. Vale- 
rian : on the right of Christ is St. Paul, and behind him St. Agatha, 
with a crown on her head, and Pope Paschal I., by whom the ediSce 
was dedicated. The date of this mosaic is about 817. 

The third in point of antiquity to which I can refer is an undoubted 
picture of Cimabne, painted for the old church of St Cecilia at 
Florence (now destroyed). She is here quite unlike all our conven- 
tional ideas of the youthful and beautiful patroness of music, — a grand 

' D'Agioconrt, pi. xi„ sixth or KTenth centDrf. 


US SI. Ccdili. (Clnubu. Florance Gil.) 

matronly figure seated on a tlirone, holding in one hand the Gospel, in 
the other the palm. The head-dreBs ib a kind of veil ; the drapery, of a 
dark blue, which has turned greenish from age, is disposed with great 
breadth and simplicity : altogether it is as solemn and striking as the 
old mosaic This picture stood over the high altar of her church, and 
around it are eight small compartments representing scenes from her 
life ; the incidents selected being precisely those which were painted in 
the portico of her church at Rome, and which in the time of Cimahue 
existed entire. 

Previous to the beginning of the fifteenth century St CeciUa is 
seldom seen with her musical instruments. She has generally, when 
grouped with other martyrs, the palm and the crown of red and white 

roeee, with occaaionally an attendant angel But St. Dorothea has hIbo 
the palm, the crown of roses, and the angel j it is therefore necessary 
to observe, first, that Dorothea generally carries a book, while St. 
Cecilia, when she has anything in her hand besides the palm, has a 
scroll of music ; secondly, St Dorothea, besides the roses on her head, 
has frequently roses in her hand, or in a basket j thirdly, the angel 
atten<^ng on Cecilia carries a garland, or some musical instrument, 
while the angel attending on St. Dorothea carries fruit and flowers in a 
basket. When accompanied by her musical attributes, St. Cecilia is 
easily distinguished ; she is in general richly dressed, wearing jewels, 
or a turban on her head, when she does not wear her wreath of red and 
white roses, — the roses gathered in paradise : she holds the palm and 
music in her hand ; an organ or some other musical instrument 10 


placed near her. Sometimes she is touching the organ^ and singing to 
her own accompaniment ; or she is playing on the viol ; the attendant 
angel near her either holds the scroll or the palm, or he crowns her 
with roses. 

The most celebrated of the modem representations of St. Cecilia, as 
patroness of music, is the picture by Raphael, painted by him for the 
altar-piece of her chapel in the church of San Giovauni-in-Monte, near 
Bologna. She stands in the centre, habited in a rich robe of golden 
tint, and her hair confined by a band of jewels. In her hand she bears 
a small organ, — but seems about to drop it as she looks up, listening 
with ecstatic expression to a group of angels, who are singing above. 
Scattered and broken at her feet lie the instruments of secular music, 
the pipe, flute, tabor, &c. To the right of St Cecilia stands St, Paul, 
leaning on his sword : behind him is St. John the Evangelist, with the 
eagle at his feet: to the left, in front, the Magdalene, as already 
described, and behind her St Augustine. 

Raphael's original drawing, engraved by Marc Antonio, has always 
appeared to me preferable to the finished picture. The sketch (149) is 
from the simple beautiful figure of the St., Cecilia. 

Sir Joshua Reynolds has given us a parody of this famous picture, in 
his portrait of Mrs. Billington ; but, instead of the organ, he has placed 
a music-book in her hands : a change which showed both his taste and 
his judgment, and lent to the borrowed figure an original significance.^ 

We will turn now to a German St Cecilia. In the picture by 
L. V. Leyden, in the Munich Gallery, she is standing, magnificently 
attired in a violet- coloured tunic, and over it a crimson mantle ; her 
hair bound with a small jewelled tiurban ; a little angel with frizzled 
hair, much like a wig, sustains a small organ, on which she plays with 
one hand, blowing the bellows with the other. The expression of the 
face as she listens, rapt, to her own sweet music — the odd but poetical 
conception — and the vivid splendour of the colouring, are very remark^ 
able. The figure is about one-third the size of life. (150) 

* It gave occasion also to the happj compliment paid to the singer by Haydn, ** What have 
yon done ? *' said he to Sir Joshua, ** you have made her listening to the angels ; yon should 
have represented the angels listening to her!" 

By Moretto we have two beautiful repreaentatious of Su Cecilia as 
patroness, attended hj other saints. 

1. She stands in the centre of the picture, holding the organ under 
her lefl arm ; with the right she embraces St. Lucia ; on the other side 
stands St. Barbara gracefully leaning on her tower; St. Agnes and St. 
Agatha are seen behind, and the Holy Spirit descends upon the group 
from above. From this fine picture (in the San Clemente at Brescia) 
I give an etching. 

2. In the picture in San Giorgio at Verona. Flere the composition 
is varied. St. Cecilia is in the centre, crowned with roses, and attired 
in magnificent red drapery : she looks up with an expression of adora- 
tion ; the organ and scrolls of music are at her feet. On the right are 
St Lucia looking down, and St. Catlicrine looking up ; on the left St. 


Barbara, also looking up, and St Agnes with her lamb, looking down.' 
Both these pictures are full of character and expression ; and here St. 
Cecilia is not only patroness of music, but patron stunt in a more 
general and exalted sense. 

Sometimes a dramatic feeling has been given to these representa- 
tions ; for instance, where St Cecilia is playing to the Virgin, and St. 
Antony of Padua, is listening, as in a picture by Garofalo. Again, 
where St. Cecilia is seated before an organ, attired in the rich Floren- 
tine costume of the sixteenth century ; near her stands St Catherine 
listening to the heavenly strains of her companion : as in a picture by 
Giulio Campi.* In a composition by Parmigiano she is playing on the 
spinet, which is held before her by two angels, — an idea which appears 
to have been borrowed by Paul Delaroche. 

Domenichino was at Kome on the occasion of the opening of the 
sarcophagus of St Cecilia in the reign of Clement VIII., and when the 
discovery of the relics entire had kindled the popular enthusiasm to an 
extraordinary degree : during the next half century there were few 
artists who did not attempt a St Cecilia; but Domenichino led the 
way. He painted six single figures of St Cecilia as patron saint Of 
these, one of the most beautiful is the half-length which represents her 
in rich drapery of violet and amber, crowned with red and white roses ; 
an angel bearing her palm is seen behind, and an organ to the left : she 
holds a scroll of music in her hand.' The noble air of the head, and the 
calm intellectual expression of the features, seem, however, better 
suited to a St Catherine than to a St. Cecilia. She is here a great 
patron saint in the general sense, and the attributes serve to indivi- 
dualise her. In the picture in the Louvre, an angel stands before her, 
holding open the music-book, from which she sings, accompanying 
herself on the viol. In the Borghese picture she wears a magnificent 

' When standing before this pictare with a friend who had given more attention to 
physiology than to art, he was struck by the peculiar expression in the eyes of St. Cecilia, 
which he said he had often remarked as characteristic of musicians by profession, or those 
devoted to music, — an expression of listening rather than seeing, 

' Cremona. S. Sigismondo. 

' It was in the collection of Mr. Wells of Red-leaf, and there is a fine engraving by Sharp. 


131 St. OclllJI. (ZuilMHll.) 

jewelled turbaa, and is listeniog with an entranced expressioQ to the 
Bong of inTiaible angels. 

But, in expression. Lord Lansdowne's Domenichino excels all the 
rest J and here St. Cecilia combines the two characters of Chrietian 
martyr and patroness of music. Her tunic is of a deep red with white 
sleeves, and on her head she wears a kind of white turban, whjcb, in 
the artless disposition of its folds, recalls the linen head-dress in wliich 
her body was found, and no doubt was intended to imitate it. She 
holds the viol gracefully, and you almost hear the tender tones she 
draws from it ; she looks up to heaven ; her expression is not ecstatic, 
as of one listening to the angels, but devout, tender, melanclioly — as 
one who anticipated her fate, and was rcaigned to it ; she is listening to 
her own song, and her song is, " Thy will be done ! " 



The sketch after Zurbaran will give an idea of the fantastic Spanish 
manner of representing female saints in court dresses. (151) 

I might cite many other beautiful examples of St Cecilia exhibited 
as patroness of music, but the subject is one which needs no interpre- 
tation. It is a frequent and appropriate decoration on the doors of 
organs. I remember an organ on the inner doors of which were painted, 
on one side St. Gregory teaching the choristers, on the other St. Cecilia 
singing with the angels. 

She is very seldom represented in devotional pictures as the virgin- 
martyr only ; but I remember one striking example ; it is in a picture 
by Giulio Procaccino. She leans back, dying, in the arms of an angel ; 
her hands bound, her hair dishevelled ; the countenance raised to heaven, 
full of tender enthusiastic faith : one angel draws the weapon from her 
breast ; another, weeping, holds the palm and a wreath of roses. This 
picture was evidently painted for a particular locality, being on a high 
narrow panel, the figure larger than life, and the management of the 
space and the foreshortening very skilful and fine.* 

I know not any picture of St. Cecilia sleeping, except Alfred 
Tennyson's : — 


" There, in a clear wall*d city on the sea, 
Near gilded organ-pipes — her hair 
Bound with white roses — slept St Cecily ; — 
An angel looked at her 1 " 

Very charmmg I — but the roees brought from paradise should be red 
and white^ symbolical of love ani purity, for in paradise the two are 
inseparable, and purity without l6ve as impossible as love without 
purity. There is a very lovely figure 6f St Cecilia by Luini ; she 
stands crowned with white roses and anemones, with the palm, and 
book, and organ-pipes at her feet.^ 

Detached scenes from the life of St Cecilia do not often occur. 
Those generally selected are " the angel crowning her and her husband," 
and her " martyrdom." 

The first, which is a most attractive subject, I have never seen well 

* Milan, Brcra. < San Maorizio, MiUn. 

8T. CECILU. 697 

treated ; all the examples which have fallen under my notice are vapid 
or theatricaL There is one in the Grallery of Count Harrach at Vienna, 
a Venetian picture of the Cagliari school, which is interesting : the &ces 
are like portraits. 

Her martyrdom is represented in two ways ; she is either exposed to 
the flames in her bath, or stabbed by the executioner. 

In the Illuminated Greek Menology (ninth century), perhaps the 
oldest existing example, she is murdered in her bath; Valerian and 
Tiburtius lie headless on the ground. The bath is often in the form of 
a great caldron, with flames beneath, and sometimes we find the super- 
scription (Ps. IxvL 12.), Per ignem et aquam^ &c "We went through 
fire and through water, but Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy 

There can be no doubt that the so-called " Martyrdom of StFelicita^ 
engraved after Raphael by Marc Antonio, and one of his finest prints, 
is the Martyrdom of St. Cecilia, and that the two headless figures on 
the ground represent Valerian and Tiburtius. There exists a woodcut 
of the same composition, executed before the death of Raphael (about 
1517), inscribed **the Martyrdom of St. Cecilia,*' which seems to set 
the question at rest. 

In the later examples she is generally kneeling, and the executioner 
seizes her by the long hair and prepares to plunge his sword into her 
bosom ; the organ is in the background, a violin and a book lie near 
her, and an angel descends from above with the wreath of roses : as in 
a much-praised picture by Riminaldi, painted for the chapel of St. 
Cecilia at Pisa.* 

The composition by Poussin is very fine and dramatic. Cecilia has 
received her death-wound, and is dying on the marble floor of her 
palace, supported in the arms of her women; St. Urban and others 
stand by lamenting. Here, as well as in Domenichino's fresco, two 
women are occupied in wiping up the blood which flows from her 
wounds. The introduction of this disagreeable and superfluous incident 
may be accounted for by the tradition that the napkin stained with her 
blood was found in the catacombs at her feet. 

> Florence, PiWi PaL 
DD 2 


■ - ■■■ ■ 

The Martyrdom of St. Cecilia by Lionello Spada, in the Sau 
Michcle-in-Bo8CO at Bologna, is much praised by Lanzi. She is ex- 
posed to the flames in her bath : ** — con un fuoco cosi vera e vivace che 
in solo mirando rende calore.^^ It is now scarcely visible. 

In the Munich Gallery is a half-length St. Cecilia attributed to 
Lionardo but not by him ; which rather reminded me, in dress and 
arrangement, of the Giovanna d'Arragona in the Louvre. 

The life of St. Cecilia treated as a series affords a number of beautiful 
and dramatic subjects. There are several examples, some of them 
famous in the history of Art. The most ancient of which there is any 
mention, is, or rather was, a set of frescoes painted in the portico of her 
church at Rome, supposed to have been executed by Byzantine painters 
in the ninth century by order of Pope Paschal I. These were utterly 
destroyed when the church was rebuilt in the seventeenth century, with 
the exception of one compartment ; but correct copies had been pre- 
viously made, which exist in the library of the Barberini Palace. The 
series comprises the following subjects : — 

1. The marriage feast of Valerian and St Cecilia. 2. St Cecilia 
seated in discourse with her husband. 

3. Valerian mounts his horse and goes to seek St Urban. 4. The 
baptism of Valerian. 

5. An angel crowns Valerian and Cecilia. 6. Cecilia preaches to 
the guards. 

7. She is exposed to the flames in her bath. 8. Her martyrdom. 

9. She is laid in the tomb. 10. She appears in a vision to Pope 

The compartment containing the last two subjects remains entire, and 
is fixed against the wall in the interior of her church to the right of the 
high altar. Pope Paschal is seen asleep on his throne with his tiara on 
his head ; the saint stands before him, and appears to be revealing the 
place of her burial in the catacombs ; on the other side the same Pope 
is seen with his attendants in the act of laying her body in the sarco- 
phagus : the story is very expressively though artlessly told ; the style 
Greco-Italian. It is worth remarking, that St. Cecilia here wears a 
head-dress like a turban, and that when her body was found her head 


was bound in folds of cloth. As great attention was drawn to these 
remains just when Domenichino and others of the Caracci school were 
painting at Rome^ the idea may have been thus suggested of represent- 
ing her in a sort of turban^ as we see her in so many pictures of the 
seventeenth century. 

On each side of the figure of St Cecilia by Cimabue (already described) 
are four small subjects from her life ; the scenes selected are the same 
as in the old frescoes of Pope Paschal, but the treatment is widely 

1. Cecilia^ seated at a banquet with three others^ and five attendants, 
of whom two are playing on the tabor and pipe. 2. Cecilia, seated on 
a couch, converses with her husband Valerian, who stands before her. 
She is exhorting him to observe the vow she had made to heaven before 
her nuptial vow to him. 3. Urban baptizes Valerian. 4. An angel 
crowns Cecilia and Valerian. 5. Cecilia converts Tiburtius. 6. Cecilia 
preaches to the people. 7. She is brought before the prefect 8. She 
is put into the bath full of boiling water: three executioners 
surround her. 

Francia, assisted by Lorenzo Costa, painted the life of St. Cecilia in 
ten compartments round the walls of her chapel at Bologna. The 
building is now desecrated, and forms a kind of public passage leading 
from one street to another. The only compartment in tolerable 
preservation is the scene of the marriage of St Cecilia and Valerian, 
charming for simplicity and expression: she seems to shrink back 
reluctant, while her mother takes her hand and places it in that of 
Valerian. In the same series, Urban instructing Valerian, and the alms 
of St Cecilia, both by Lorenzo Costa, are very beautiful. Of the 
other compartments only a figure here and there can be made out 

By Pinturicchio there is a series of five small pictures from the life of 
St Cecilia in the Berlin Gallery. 

Lastly, there is the series by Domenichino, celebrated in the history 
of Art A short time after the discovery of the relics of St Cecilia, a 


chapel was dedicated to her in the church of San Luigi at Kome ; and 
Domenichino was employed to decorate it with the history of the sidnt. 

The story is told in five large compositions. 

1. Cecilia distributes her possessions to the poor. She is in the 
background standing on the terrace or balcony of her house^ while a 
crowd of eager half-naked wretches are seen in the front ; twenty-two 
figures in alL It is a rich dramatic composition, but the attention, 
instead of being concentrated on the benign saint, is distracted by the 
accessaries, among which are two naughty boys quarrelling for a 
garment. This is surely a discord in point of sentiment. 2. An angel 
crowns with roses St. Cecilia and Valerian as they kneel on each side. 
3. St. Cecilia refuses to sacrifice to idols. 4. Her martyrdom. She 
lies wounded to death on some marble steps ; — her attitude very 
graceful and pathetic. St. Urban looks on pitying; two women are 
wiping up the blood. In all, fifteen figures. 

On the ceiling of the chapel is the apotheosis of the saint. She is 
carried into heaven by angels. One bears the organ, others the sword, 
the palm, and the crown. 

On the whole, St. Cecilia is not so frequent a subject of painting as 
we might have expected from the beauty and antiquity of her legend. 
She is seldom seen in the old French works of Art : she has been a 
favourite with the Roman and Bolognese schools, but comparatively 
neglected by Venetian, Spanish, and German painters ; and in point of 
general popularity she yields both to St. Catherine and St. Barbara.' 

St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr. 

Lot* Sancta Agnes. ItaL Sant' Agnese. Spa. Santa Inez. Fr. Ste. Agnes. Jan. 21. 

A.D. 304. 

The legend of this illustrious virgin is one of the oldest in the Christian 
Church. It is also, in its main points, one of the most authentic. 

' We have two churches in England dedicated to her : one at Adstock, in Bucks, and 
another at West Bilncy, in Norfolk. 

ST. AGNES. 601 

St Jerome, writing in the fourth century, informs us that, in his time, 
the fame of St Agnes was spread through all nations, and that homilies 
and hymns, and other effusions in prose and verse, had been written in 
her honour in all languages. Her tender sex, her almost childish years, 
her beauty, innocence, and heroic defence of her chastity, the high 
antiquity of the veneration paid to her, have all combined to invest the 
person and character of St Agnes with a charm, an interest, a reality, 
to which the most sceptical are not wholly insensible. 

The legend does not tell us who were her parents, nor what their 
rank in life, but takes up her history abruptly. Thus : — 

** There lived in the city of Rome a maiden whose name was Agnes 
(whether this name was her own, or given to her because of her lamb- 
like meekness and innocence, does not seem clear). She was not more 
than thirteen years old, but was filled with all good gifts of the Holy 
Spirit, having loved and followed Christ from her infancy, and was 
as distinguished for her gracious sweetness and humility as for her 
surpassing beauty. 

" It chanced that the son of the prefect of Rome beheld her one day 
as he rode through the city, and became violently enamoured, and 
desired to have her for his wife. He asked her in marriage of her 
parents, but the maiden repelled all his advances. Then he brought 
rich presents, bracelets of gold and gems, and rare jewels and precious 
ornaments, and promised her all the delights of the world if she would 
consent to be his wife. But she rejected him and his gifts, saying, 
* Away from me, tempter I for I am already betrothed to a lover who is 
greater and fairer than any earthly suitor. To him I have pledged my 
faith, and he will crown me with jewels, compared to which thy gifts 
are dross. I have tasted of the milk and honey of his lips, and the 
music of his divine voice has sounded in mine ears : he is so fair that the 
sun and moon are ravished by his beauty, and so mighty that the angels 
of heaven are his servants I ' 

" On hearing these words, the son of the prefect was seized with such 
jealousy and rage, that he went to his home and fell upon his bed and 
became sick, almost to death; and when the physicians were called, 
they said to the father, ' This youth is sick of unrequited love, and our 
art can avail nothing.' Then the prefect questioned his son, and the 


young man confessed^ saying, ** My father, unless thou procure me 
Agnes to be my wife, I die.' 

" Now the prefect, whose name was Sempronius, tenderly loved his 
son; and he repaired, weeping, to Agnes and to her parents, and 
besought them to accept his sou : but Agnes made the same answer as 
before, and the prefect was angered to think that another should be 
preferred before his son, and he inquired of the neighbours to what 
great prince Agnes was betrothed ? And one said, * Knowest thou not 
that Agnes has been a Christian from her infancy upwards, and the 
husband of whom she speaks is no other than Jesus Christ ? * When the 
prefect heard this he rejoiced greatly, for an edict had gone forth against 
the Christians, and he knew that she was in his power. He sent for 
her, therefore, and said, ^ Since thou art so resolved against an earthly 
husband, thou shalt enter the service of the goddess Vesta.' To which 
Agnes replied with disdain, ^ Thinkest thou that I, who would not 
listen to thy son, who yet is a man, and can hear and see, and move and 
speak, will bow down to vain images, which are but insensible wood and 
stone, or, which is worse, to the demons who inhabit them ? ' 

" When Sempronius heard these words he fell into a fury ; he 
threatened her with death in the most hideous forms ; he loaded her 
tender limbs with chains ; and ordered her to be dragged before the 
altars of the gods ; but she remained firm. And as neither temptation 
nor the fear of death could prevail, he thought of other means to 
vanquish her resistance; he ordered her to be carried by force to a 
place of infamy, and exposed to the most degrading outrages. The 
soldiers, who dragged her thither, stripped her of her garments; and 
when she saw herself thus exposed, she bent down her head in meek 
shame and prayed ; and immediately her hair, which was already long 
and abundant, became like a veil, covering her whole person from head 
to foot ; andj those who looked upon her were seized with awe and fear 
as of something sacred, and dared not lift their eyes. So they shut her 
up in a chamber, and she prayed that the limbs that had been consecrated 
to Jesus Christ should not be dishonoured. And suddenly she saw 
before her a white and shining garment, with which she clothed herself 
joyfully, praising God, and saying, * I thank thee, O Lord, that I am 
found worthy to put on the garment of thy elect I ' And the whole 

8T. AGNES. e03 

place was filled with miraculous light, brighter than the sun at 

** But meantime the young Sempronius thought within himself, * Now 
is this proud maiden subdued to my will.' So he came into the chamber; 
but the moment he approached her he was struck with blindness, and 
fell down in convulsions, and was carried forth as one dead. His father 
and his mother and all his relations ran thither, weeping and lamenting, 
until Agnes, melted to compassion by their tears, and moved by that 
spirit of charity which became the espoused of Christ, prayed that he 
might be restored to health ; and her prayer was granted. 

" When Sempronius saw this great miracle, he would fain have saved 
St. Agnes ; but the people, instigated by the priests, cried out, * This is 
a sorceress and a witch, who kills men with a look and restores them to 
life with a word ; — let her die I " Ajid the tumult increased. So the 
prefect, being afraid, sent one of his deputies to judge the maiden. 

'^ As the people persisted in their clamorous cries against her, and as 
she openly and boldly professed herself a Christian, the deputy ordered 
a pile of fagots to be heaped together, and a fire to be kindled^ and 
they threw Agnes into the midst; but when they looked to see her 
consumed, behold the flames were suddenly extinguished, and she stood 
unharmed, while the executioners around were slain by the force of the 
fire, which had had no power over her. 

^^ But the people and the idolatrous priests, instead of seeing in this 
miracle the hand of God, cried out the more, ^ She is a sorceress, and 
must die I ' Then Agnes, raising her hands and her eyes to heaven, 
thanked and blessed the Lord, who had thus openly asserted his power 
and defended her innocence ; but the wicked deputy, incited by the 
tumult of the people, and fearing for himself, commanded one of the 
executioners to ascend the pile and end her with the sword ; which was 
done : and she, looking steadfastly up to heaven, yielded up her pure 
spirit, and fell bathed in her blood. 

** Her parents and her relatives took her body and carried it, weeping 
and singing hymns, to the cemetery outside the city on the Via Nomen- 
tana; and there they laid her in a tomb. And day and night the 
Christians assembled in that place to offer up their devotions. And it 
happened that, on a certain day, as her parents with many others were 



praying by her sepulchre, St. Agnes herself appeared before them, all 
radiant of aspect; by her side was a lamb, whiter than the driven snow. 
And she said, * Weep not, dry your tears, and rejoice with exceeding 
joy ; for me a throne is prepared by the side of Him whom on earth I 
preferred to all others, and to whom I am united for ever in heaven.' 
And having said these words she vanished. Then the Christian mourners 
wiped away their tears, and returned to their houses with joy and 

St Agnes is the favourite saint of the Roman women: the traditional 
reverence paid to her memory has been kept alive even to this hour by 
their local associations, and by the two famous churches at Rome bearing 
her name, one within and one without die walls. 

The first stands on the west side of the Piazza Navona, on the very 
spot where stood the house of infamy to which she was dragged by the 
soldiers. The chamber which, for her preservation, was filled with 
heavenly light, has become, from the change of level all over Rome, as 
well as the position of the church, a subterranean cell, and is now a 
chapel of peculiar sanctity, into which you descend by torch-light. The 
floor retains the old mosaic, and over the altar is a bas-relief, represent- 
ing St. Agnes, with clasped hands, and covered only by her long tresses, 
while two ferocious soldiers drive her before them. The upper church, 
as a piece of architecture, is beautiful, and rich in precious marbles and 
antique columns. The works of art are all mediocre, and of the seven- 
teenth century, but the statue over her altar has considerable elegance. 
Often have I seen the steps of this church, and the church itself, so 
crowded with kneeling worshippers at matins and vespers that I could 
not make my way among them ; — principally the women of the lower 
orders, with their distaffs and market-baskets, who had come there to 
pray, through the intercession of the patron saint, for the gifts of meek- 
ness and chastity — gifts not abounding in those regions. 

The other church of St. Agnes — the Sant' Agnese beyond the Porta- 
Pia — is yet more interesting. According to the old tradition, it was 
erected by Constantine the Great at the earnest request of his daughter 
Constantia, only a few years after the death of Agnes, and to com- 
memomte the spot in which she was laid. This has been controverted, 

sr. AQNE3. nt 

but it remains certain that the church was in 625 an ancient edifice, 
and at that time restored. Notwithstanding many subsequent renova- 
tions, it retfuns its antique form and most of its antique decorations, and 
is certainly one of the most remarkable and venerable of the old churches 
of Rome. So deep below the present level of the soil is the floor of the 
church, that we have to descend into it by a flight of marble steps. 
The statue of the saint, of bronze and oriental alabaster, stands over the 
high altar: beneath it is the sarcophagus, containing her remains — 
more authentic than such relics 
usually are. The mosaic in the 
apsis (a. D. 625 — 638) represents 
her standing, crowned, and holding 
a book in her hand, in the Byzantine 
manner. Out of the earth spring 
flowers, and a sword lies at her feet; 
both in allusion to her martyrdom. 
On the right is Pope Honorius, 
holding the church ; and on the 
other side, Pope Symmachus, hold- 
ing a book. 

So ancient is the worship paid to 
St Agnes, that, next to the Evan- 
gelists and Apoatlea, there is no 
saint whose efligy is older. It is 
found on the ancient glass and 
earthenware vessels used by the 
Christians in tlie early part of the 
third century, with her name in- 
scribed, which leaves no doubt of 
her identily. But neither iu these 

images, nor in the niosaic, is the ,„ s..Ap«.cTo„>«iwHj.aii». (»Urti.sci,«n> 
lamb introduced, which in later 

times has become her inseparable attribute, as the patroness of maidens 
and mwdenly modesty. She bears the palm as martyr, — seldom the 
book. I have seen her holding a branch of olive together with the 
palm, and sometimes crowned with olive. 


l«3 St. Ataci, (Andm dal Sana.) 

As her effigies are not easily mistaken, and abound in every form 
and every scfaool of Art, I shall confine myself to a few celebrated 

1. She is often looking down meekly, as in a beautiful and rare 
engraving by Martin Schoen. (152) 

2. As martyr. She is seated, partly veiled, holding her palm in the 
right hand, with the other embracing her lamb, and looking up with a 
mild trusting faith ; the drapery amber and violet : as in a picture by 
Andrea del Sarto in the Duomo at Pisa. It is the head of his beautiful 
but worthless wife, more idealised than usual. This sketch will show 
the attitude, but it is the colour and ezpression which render the picture 
enchanting. (153) 

3. As martyr, she presents her palm to Christ; as in a picture by 
Titian in the Louvre. 

4. As patroness of maidenhood, she presents a nun to the Madonna ; 
as in a lovely picture by Paul Veronese.' 

ST. AGNES. 607 

5. In the altar-piece by Domenichino at Windsor, she stands leaning 
on a pedestal, in the likeness of a young girl of about twelve or thirteen, 
magnificently attired, and her long hair confined by a tiara ; her hands 
are joined in supplication, yet she looks up to heaven as one trusting 
and assured; at her side an angel caresses a lamb; another angel 
descends from above with the palm : — a splendid picture, well remem- 
bered by all who have visited the Windsor collection, and universally 
known by the famous engraving of Strange. I do not admire it, how- 
ever ; — it is not in character ; it is too regal, too sumptuous, too 
triumphant ; and the portrait-like head, and rather heavy figure, defi- 
cient altogether in ideal sanctity and elevation. There is a tradition 
that it is the portrait of the artist's daughter. 

Domenichino professed an especial veneration for St« Agnes, and was 
often called upon to paint her. Besides the single figure at Windsor, 
he painted for her church at Bologna the famous Martyrdom which is 
now in the Gallery there. The saint kneels upon the pile of fagots ; 
the fire has just been extinguished by divine interposition ; two of the 
executioners lie prostrate on the ground ; a third has seized her hair, 
and, drawing back her head, plunges the sword into her bosom : there 
are several spectators, and among them the usual group of the frightened 
women and children. Above, the heavens open in glory, and Christ 
delivers to an angel the palm and crown which are to recompense the 
martyr. This picture, which has always been reckoned amongst the 
most celebrated productions of the Bologna school, as a masterpiece of 
dramatic arrangement and expression, is to me sovereignly displeasing. 
In the first place, there is something not only shocking, but positively 
unnatural, in the stupid, brutal indifierence with which the executioner 
slaughters the young and beautiful saint. It is a murder, and not a 
martyrdom, which we see before us ; — the women who look on ought 
to fly, or hide their faces, from such a spectacle. To complete the dis- 
cordant feeling, and in contrast with the cold-blooded horror of the 
lower part of the picture, we behold a chorus of angels piping and 
fiddling up in the sky, with the most unsympathising self-complacency. 

The Martyrdom of St. Agnes, by Tintoretto, in the S. Maria dell' 
Orto at Venice, is treated like a theatrical scene : there is a flight of 
steps, on which are a number of spectators, and on the summit is the 


saint, kneeling, attired in virgin white, and prepared to receive the 
stroke of the executioner. 

The same subject by Joanes, at Madrid, *^ contains some beautiful 
Raphaelesque heads." I know not how the action is represented. 

With St Agnes is sometimes introduced her friend and foster sister 
Ermentiana, who was stoned because she reproved the pagans for their 

Other subjects from the life of St Agnes must occur rarely. I re- 
member but one: she restores the son of Sempronius to life. The 
vision of the glorified saint to the Christian mourners appears to me 
capable of the most beautiful treatment, but I have not met with one 
example. It is generally as the patron saint of innocence, or as the 
virgin martyr, that St Agnes is brought before us.' 

Richardson describes a picture of a young saint kneeling, and pro- 
tected from violence by the apparition of an angel, who fills the whole 
chamber with light He calls the subject St Cecilia, but it is evidently 
St Agnes. In his time this picture was in the Borghese Palace, and 
attributed to Correggio. I have no recollection of such a picture. 

Sr. Agatha, Virgin and Martyr. 

Lat Sancta Agatha. Fr. Sainte Agathe. Ital Santa Agata. Ger, Die Heiligo Agatha. 
Patroness against fire, and all diseases of the breast Patroness of Malta and of Catania. 
Fob. 5. A.D. 251. 

** There dwelt in the city of Catania, in Sicily, a certain Christian 
maiden whose name was Agatha. In those days reigned the emperor 
Decius, who had strangled his predecessor Philip ; and, to make it 
believed by all that he had put him to death out of gi*eat zeal and for 
being a Christian, not from motives of ambition, this Decius sent his 
emissaries throughout the empire to oppress and persecute the Chris- 
tians, and many were put to death. And to Sicily Decius sent his 
creature Quintianus, and made him king over the whole island. Not 
long had Quintianus reigned in Sicily when he heard of the great beauty 
and perfection of the maiden Agatha, and he sent to have her brought 

* We hare onlj two churches in England dedicated in her nama 

ST. AGATHA. 909 

before him ; and he tempted her with rich presents, and flatteries, and 

promises, but she rejected all with disdain. Then Quintianus sent for 

a courtesan, named Frondisia, who had nine daughters, more wicked 

and abandoned than herself, and he delivered Agatha into their hands, 

and he said, ' Subdue this damsel to my will, and I will give ye great 

riches.' Then Frondisia took Agatha home to her house, and kept her 

there for thirty-three days, and tempted her with great promises, and 

flattered and cajoled her ; and seeing this availed not, they persecuted 

her day and night : but her heart was fixed as a rock in the faith of 

Jesus Christ, and all their promises and all their threats were as the 

empty air. At the end of thirty-three days, Frondisia returned to 

Quintianus and said to him, * Sooner shall that sword at thy side 

become like liquid lead, and the rocks dissolve and flow like water, than 

the heart of this damsel be subdued to thy wilL' Then Quintianus in 

a fury commanded her to be brought to him, and said, * Who, and what 

art thou, audacious girl?' And Agatha replied, * I am a free woman, 

and the servant of Jesus Christ*' And he said, ' Dost thou call thyself 

free who art constrained to serve?' And she said, * I am the handmaid 

of Christ, whom to serve is perfect freedom.' Then Quintianus said, 

* Abjure thy master, and serve our gods, or I will have thee tortured.' 

To which St. Agatha replied, * If thou shoiildst throw me to the wild 

beasts, the power of Christ would render them meek as lambs ; if thou 

shouldst kindle a fire to consume me, the augels would quench it with 

dews from heaven ; if thou shouldst tear me with scourges, the Holy 

Spirit within me would render thy tortures harmless.' Then this 

accursed tyrant ordered St. Agatha to be bound and beaten with rods ; 

and he commanded two of his slaves to tear her tender bosom cruelly 

with iron shears ; and as her blood flowed forth, she said to him, ^ O 

thou tyrant ! shamest thou not to treat me so — thou who hast been 

nourished and fed from the breast of a mother?' And this was her 

only plaint. Then she was carried from the place of torture into a 

dark dungeon. And about midnight there came to her a man of a fair 

and venerable aspect, carrying in his hand a vase of ointment ; and 

before him walked a youth bearing a waxen torch : it was the holy 

apostle Peter, and the youth was one of the angels of God ; but St, 

Agatha knew it not, and such a glorious light filled the prison, that the 


guards were seized with terror^ and fled, leaving the door open. Then 
came one to St. Agatha and cried, ^ Arise and fljl' But she said, 
* God forbid that I should fly from my crown of martyrdom, and be the 
occasion that my keepers should suffer, for my flight, tortures and 
death : I will not fly ! ' Then St* Peter said to her, * I am come to 
heal thee, O my daughter ! ' But she drew her veil more closely over 
her wounded bosom, and replied with virgin modesty, * If it be the will 
of my Saviour Christ that I should be healed, he will himself heal me.' 
St. Peter answered * Fear not, for Christ has sent me to minister to 
thee ! ' So he ministered to her, restoring with celestial medicines her 
mutilated bosom, and her body torn with stripes; and when he had 
done so, he vanished, and St. Agatha knelt and blessed the power of 
Christ, who had visited her with this great mercy. 

'' The rage and fury of Quintianus not being appeased, he sent again 
to have her brought before him, and being astonished to behold her 
restored, he said, * Who hath healed thee ? ' She replied, * He, whom 
I confess and adore with my heart and with my lips, hath sent his 
apostle and healed me and delivered me I ' Then Quintianus ordered a 
great fire to be kindled, and they bound the holy maiden hand and foot 
and flung her upon it ; and in that moment a terrible earthquake ensued, 
which made the city quake, and the people ran armed to the palace, 
and cried out, ^ This has fallen upon us because of the sufferings of this 
Christian damsel!' and they threatened, that if Quintianus did not 
desist from tormenting her they would burn him in his palace with all 
his family. So Quintianus ordered her to be taken from the flames, 
and again cast into the dungeon, scorched and in miserable pain ; aud 
she prayed that, having thus far suffered and proved her faith, she might 
be permitted to see the glory of God ; which prayer was heard, for her 
pure spirit immediately departed and ascended to eternal glory. The 
Christians who dwelt in Catania came to the prison and carried away 
her sacred remains, and embalmed them, and buried her with great 
devotion in a tomb of porphyry. 

*^ Now you shall know that nigh to the city of Catania In Sicily 
there is a huge mountain, and on the summit a vast gaping chasm, 
whence are vomited fire and smoke : the blessed St. Gregory saith that 
it is one of the mouths of hell, but the people call it Mongibello (Mount 

Etna). Id about a year after the martyrdom of St. Agatha, this 
mountiun opened itself, and there flowed forth a stream of fire, con- 
suming all before it; and the inhabitants of the city of Catania, men 
and women, Christiana and Pagans, Bed for refuge to the tomb of the 
martyr Agatha, and taking her silken veil, which lay upon it, they 
fixed it on the top of a lance, and went forth in long procession to meet 
the torrent of fire, which had already reached the walls of the city ; but 
it pleased God that by the virtue of thia sacred relic the fire was turned 
aside, and the mountain ceased to bellow, and there was calm. On 
beholding this great miracle, all Uie heathens who dwelt in the city were 
converted to the faith of Christ, and received 
baptism." ' 

When represented as patron sunt, either as 
a ungle figure or grouped with other saints, 
St Agatha bears in one hand the palm, in the 
other a dish or salver, on which is the female 
breast, in allusion to her martyrdom : if she 
wear the crown, as in some early represent- 
ations, it is the crown of the bride and martyr 
of Christ The shears, the instnimeiit of her 
cruel martyrdom, are some^es in her hand, 
or be^de her. She generally wears a long 
veil, in allusion to her legend. The expres- 
sion dould be that of majesty as well as 

Over the high altar of her church at Brescia 
is a large picture by Calisto da Lodi, repre- 
Benting St Agatha suspended on a cross. 
She is dressed in a dark olive-green tunic; 
the attitude fine and simple ; and the expres- 
uon of complete hut dying resignation in the 

head most lovely ; the manner of her suffering '" „^'- **V|U;Ji''^*'*''"J' 
indicated by a few spots of blood on her 
bosom, which, however, is delicately veiled. At the foot of the cross 

' Legende delle SS. Tergini. 
VOL. II. F p 


Stand St Peter, St. Paul, and two martyr virgins — I think St. Lucia 
and St. Barbara. 

The atrocious subject of her martyrdom has been seldom represented, 
and is rarely seen exhibited in any church, perhaps because of the effect 
it is likely to produce on the feelings and fancies of women. In spite 
of all possible discretion on the part of the painter, and every attempt 
to soften the circumstances, they remain in the highest degree horrible 
and revolting. She is usually bound to a pillar (in the early represent- 
ations always to a cross), undraped to the wust, and on each side a 
slave or executioner with a pair of shears. The most famous picture of 
this subject is that of Sebastian del Piombo, punted for the Cardinal of 
Aragon, and now in the Pitti Palace, on which are lavished wonderful 
powers of expression and colour — as it is said — for I never could look 
at it steadily. Yandyck also has treated it with horrible force and 
truth, and to both these painters one might address the reproach which 
St. Agatha addressed to her« tormentor. In some pictures she is merely 
bound and preparing for the torture, the bosom bared, and the eyes 
uplifted with an expression of devout faith and resignation^ ; as in the 
rfoble fresco by Parmigiano, and in two other compositions by Campi 
and by Tiepolo. In the Duomo at Verona, there is an altar in marble 
dedicated to St Agatha. At the top she is on a cross, suffering her 
cruel martyrdom, an executioner with the shears on each side ; beneath, 
she lies in the tomb, with her long veil gracefully thrown over her ; the 
whole treated with singular elegance and good taste, and more en- 
durable in sculpture than in painting. 

^^ St Peter healing St Agatha in prison," is a subject sometimes 
met with. The scene is a dungeon ; St Agatha lies extended on the 
ground, her drapery drawn over her bosom. The apostle, a venerable 
man with a long white beard, bends over her, a vase of ointment in his 
hand, and beside him a box like a medicine chest, containing vials, &c; 
a youth (or an angel) bears a torch. This is the obvious and usual 
treatment, ^lightly varied ; and it would be a beautiful subject if the 
associations were less intensely painful. 

' The fine head by Domenichino, in the collection of Lord EUesmere, called a St. Agatha, 
I believe to be Domenichino's fayourite patroness, St Agnes, whose bosom was transfixed by 
a sword. 

8T. LUCIA, 61S 

Among the remains of Art relative to St. Agatha may be mentioned 
the subterranean chapel at Malta. According to a tradition of the 
island^ the ground once belonged to her/amilj : it is carved out of the 
living rock, and the walls covered with frescoes, containing at least 
twenty-four figures nearly life-size ; most of them have peeled off the 
surface, but those which remain are of extraordinary beauty. The 
style is that of the early Tuscan school ; the date, about the middle of 
the fifteenth century. 

St. Lucia, Virgin and Martyr. 

Enp. St Lace, or Lucy. Fr, Ste. Luce, or Lucie. Patroness of the citj of Syracuse. 
Patroness against all diseases of the eyes ; and patron saint of the labouring poor. Dec. 13. 
A.V, 303. 

** When the wicked Diocletian, and the yet more wicked Maximian, 
ascended the throne of the empire, they sent as governor to Sicily one 
of their creatures, a man sold to all evil, named Pascasius. At that 
time there lived in the city of Syracuse a noble and virtuous damsel, 
whose name was Lucia ; her mother being a widow, named Eutychia. 
Lucia, who had been early instructed in Christianity, secretly dedicated 
her maidenhood to Jesus Christ ; but her mother did not know it, and, 
at the age of fourteen, Lucia was betrothed by her relations to a youth 
of the same city, noble and of great riches ; but he was a pagan. 

** Now it happened that the mother of Lucia had long suffered 
from a grievous disorder, and her daughter coimselled her to make a 
pilgrimage to the tomb of the glorious virgin St. Agatha, assuring her 
that by her intercession, and the power of Christ, she would certainly 
be restored to health. Accordingly they journeyed together to the city 
of Catania, and while praying fervently beside the tomb, for the 
restoration of her mother, Lucia beheld in a vision the martyr St. 
Agatha, who appeared to her, surrounded by a choir of angels, clad in 
precious stones, and brighter than the sun, and said, ' O my sister- 
handmaid of Christ ! well art thou called Lucia, who art indeed a light 

and a mirror to the faithful I What dost thou ask of me which shall 

r r 2 


not be granted to thine own faith and eanctitj ? Behold I thy mother 

is from this hour healed ; and as the city of Catania has been through 

me defended, bo shall the city of Syracuse be for thy sake favoured and 

protected of Heaven.' When Lucia heard these 

words, she awoke from her vision with great joy, 

and found her mother healed ; and she persuaded 

her mother to allow her to remain unmarried, 

and moreover entreated that her dowry might be 

given to the poor.- Her motlier was troubled at 

this request ; but she answered, ' My child, I am 

content ; do with all my possessions as thou wilt, 

only let me die first,, lest during my lifetime I 

become a beggar.' Whereupon Lucia smiled, 

and said, ' Of a certainty, O my mother, God 

hath little care for that which a man dedicates (o 

His service only when he can no longer enjoy it 

himself. What doth it profit to leave behind that 

which we cannot carry away ? ' Then her 

mother, being struck with these words, aaid, ' Do 

as thou wilt, my daughter.' So Lucia sold all 

their possessions, and gave the money to the poor 

and the sick, and the widows and the orphans. 

And when the young man to whom she was 

betrothed saw this, he was enraged, and he went 

iM St tucii with hci iiuD|>. j^jj^j denounced her to the governor as being a 

Christian : so Pascasius ordered her to be brought before him, and 

commanded her to sacrifice to his idols ; and when she refused, he 

ordered her to be carried to a place of shame, and treated with 

indignity, and humbled to bis will. And she said, ' My body ie in thy 

power ; but know, that there can be neither wn nor shame to which 

the mind doth not consent. If thou shouldst cut off my hand and with 

it offer incense to thine idols, God would not impute it to me as sin. 

Thou mayst not force my will, for that is beyond thy power.' Then 

Pascasius, in his fury, commanded that they should drag her away ; 

but, behold a miracle I — for when these bold and wicked and shameless 

men advanced to seize her, she became suddenly, by the power of God, 


immovable. They brought ropes^ fastening them to her waist^ her 
arms^ and legs ; and men and oxen pulled with all their might, but in 
vain ; the more they pulled, the more firmly she stood there. Then 
Fascasius sent for the magicians and enchanters ; but they also failed, 
with all their spells and enchantments, to move her from the spot. 
Then he ordered a great fire to be kindled around her ; but she prayed 
that the fire might not harm her, and that the enemies of Christ might 
be confounded. Fascasius, seeing that she was not destroyed by these 
means, became more and more furious ; whereupon one of his servants, 
to do him pleasure, pierced her throat with a sword or poniard. Thus 
she died, and the Christians took her body and buried it exactly on the 
very spot where she had suffered martyrdom. There a church was 
erected soon afterwards, and called by her most blessed name." 

There is no mention here, nor in any of the oldest legends, of the 
loss of her eyes. The device of some of the early painters, to express 
her name, Lucia, lighty by the emblem of an eye or eyes placed near 
her, seems to have given rise to the invention of this additional incident 
in her story : a signal instance of that conversion of the image or 
metaphor into a fact, which I have so often had occasion to notice. 
The story in the more modem legend is thus related : — 
*' In the city wherein the blessed Lucia dwelt, there dwelt also a 
youth, who, having once beheld her, became enamoured of her beauty, 
and, by messages and promises and gifts, he ceased not to woo her ; 
but Lucia, being a Christian and fearing God, resisted all these attacks 
on her virtue. Now this youth, in his letters and his tender speeches, 
was accustomed to protest that it was the brightness of her eyes which 
inflamed him, and that it was for the sake of those beautiful eyes he 
pursued her, leaving her no rest, because those eyes left him no rest, by 
day or by night Lucia, considering these things, and calling to mind 
the words of Christ, ' If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it 
from thee,' and fearing lest her eyes should be the cause of damnation 
to the young man, and perhaps also to herself, called for a knife and 
took out her beautiful eyes, and sent them to her lover in a dbh, with 
these words : ' Here hast thou what thou hast so much desired ; and 
for the rest, I beseech thee, leave me now in peace.' Whereat the 


St. LucU. (Cilielll.) 

young man, being utterly astonislied and full of grief and remorse, not 
only ceased his pursuit, but became also a convert of Christ, and lived 
ever afterwards an example of virtue and chastity. 

" But God would not suffer that the blessed Lucia, having given this 
proof of her courage and piety, should remain blind : for one day, as 
she knelt in prayer, behold I her eyes were restored to her more 
beautiful than before. And if any one doubts of this great miracle, let 
him consult the writings of that learned and pruaeworthy man Filippo 

ST. Lrcu. 

IBT 9t. LgclL Guoblo. (Capllol, Roou.) 

Bei^iDfiDBO, and also of that famous Spaniard Don Juan Maldonato, 
where they will find it all set down as I have related. And this ia the 
reason that St. Lucia is invoked against hlindness and all diseases of 
the eyea, and that in her effigj she is represented bearing two eyee in a 

There is a ver^on of her legend which represents her as having 

' There &re only two cIinrcheB dedicated to iter in England ) at Domblebf, in Liacolnshire, 
tnd Qieat Upton, in Shropehire. 


suffered martyrdom hy the Iosa of her eyea, and this has eometimes been 
followed hj the painters ; but it ia no authority. 

DcTOtional pictures of St Lucia bearing her eyes in a dish, or on a 
salver, are commonly met with. As her eyes were bored out by an 
gwl, she oflen carries this instrument in her band: I have seen her 
with her two eyes on it as on a skewer ; but this is utterly bad taste : 
neither are the eyes an invariable attribute ; much more beautiful, and 
far superior in significance and feeling, are those figures which repre- 
sent her as carrying a flaming lamp in her hand. (155) When she 
stands with her lamp, she appears in the character given to her by 

ST. LUCIA. 619 

Dante — the type of celestial light or wisdom.' She is thus repre- 
sented in a graceful bas-relief, by Luca della Bobbia, over the door of 
her church at Florence. In an altar-piece within the same church she 
stands on one side of the Madonna, with her eyes in a dish ; — this 
picture is remarkable and interesting, as being the only undoubted 
production of Domenico Veneziano, who was assassinated by Andrea 
del Castagno. F. Angelico represents her with her lamp, beautiful, 
fair-haired, and in pale-green drapery. 

In' a picture by Baroccio, St. Lucia presents her palm to the 
Madonna, while an angel holds her eyes in a cup, and St. Antony is 
in deep meditation.* 

She has sometimes a sword or poniard in her neck ; or a wound in 
her neck, from which rays of light proceed, in allusion to her name ; as 
in a picture by Carlo Dolce in the Florence Gallery. I have not 
found in the old masters any characteristic type of expression. 

Pictures from her history are not commonly met with. In her 
martyrdom she is seen with ropes about her waist, her neck, her arms ; 
men and' oxen are tugging with all their might in vain : as in the 
ancient fresco at Padua, where her air and attitude, so expressive of 
meek confidence, are charming. Or she is bound to a stake, and a 
soldier is about to pierce her neck with a sword : as in a picture by 
Massarotti, in her church at Cremona ; and in a picture by Pesellino, 
where the tyrant orders her execution, and the executioner pierces her 
neck with a poniard.^ In her apotheosis, she is borne into heaven in a 
glory of angels, one of whom carries her eyes: as in a picture by 
Palma in her church at Venice.* 

In looking back to the legends of these famous Virgin-Martyrs, we 
cannot but feel that they rise up in the fancy with a distinct indivi- 
duality, which has not always — indeed has but seldom — been attended 

> As in the picture of St. John Chrysostom described at pp. 327, 32S. YoL I. 

« LouTTc, 864. « Berlin Gal 64. 

* The German patroness of eyes is St. Ottilia, a princess who was bom blind^ and became 
abbess of Hohenberg in the eighth century. She will be fonnd among the monastic saints. 
In several German catalogues I have seen the St Lucia of the Italian pictures styled St. 
Ottilia, who was an abbess, and not a martyr. 



to by the beet ptunters : in general, when grouped together, they are 
too much alike ; and in the separate figures, the old p^ntera give ns 
certain abstractione of feminine purity and grace, without much regard 
to characterietic discrimination. 

In St. Cedlia, tlie Roman Lady and the Muse, we should have 
majesty and a rapt inspiration ; the eyes should listen rather tlian look. 

The expression in St Agnes should be extreme simplicity and meek- 
ness, and the girlhood should not be forgotten : she may look down. 
In St. Agatha, the character should be a noble fortitude, with a look, 
perhaps, of trustful supplication for the power to endure. In St 
Lucia should prevail a calm intellectual expression; with eyes as 
beautiful and refulgent as possible : she is the type — not of learning 
and knowledge, for this is St Catherine's department — but of wisdom, 
" the wisdom from above, which ia pure and gentle." Thus Dante has 
introduced her as the messenger Irom the Virgin to Beatrice — 

" Lucia, nimica di ducuii crndele," — 

the gentleness, and the " occhi belli, lucenti" not being forgotten.' 

■ laC c ii. PuTK. ix. Far. xzxii. 


The following martyrs are to be found most frequently in the Roman 
churches and works of art. Many of them are exclusively Roman : 
they ore, in fact, merely local saints. But at Rome local influences fill 
the mind, as Rome itself once filled the universe. 

The effect produced upon the fancy by the remains of early Christian 
Art, still existing within the walls of Rome, will vary of course with 
the character, turn of mind, and early associations of those who visit 
them ; but to none can they be wholly indifferent, and on many they 
will leave a profound and even melancholy impression. Whether con- 
templated in connection with religious feeling, or religious history, they 
are full of interest. 

For myself, I must say that I know nothing to compare with a 
pilgrimage among the antique churches scattered over the Esquiline, 
the Caelian, and the Aventine Hills. They stand apart, each in its 
solitude, amid gardens, and vineyards, and heaps of nameless ruins ; — 
here a group of cypresses, there a lofty pine or solitary palm ; the 
tutelary saint, perhaps, some Sanf AchilleOy or Santa Bibianay whom 
we never heard of before, — an altar rich in precious marbles — columns 
of porphyry — the old frescoes dropping from the walls — the everlasting 
colossal mosaics looking down so solemn, so dim, so spectral ; — these 
grow upon us, until at each succeeding visit they themselves, and the 
associations with which they are surrounded, become a part of our daily 
life, and may be said to hallow that daily life when considered in a 
right spirit True, what is most sacred, what is most poetical, is often 
desecrated to the fancy by the intrusion of those prosaic realities which 
easily strike prosaic minds ; by disgust at the foolish fabrications which 
those who recite them do not believe, by lying inscriptions, by tawdry 
pictures, by tasteless and even profane restorations; by much that 
saddens, much that offends, much that disappoints; — but then so much 
remains ! — so much to awaken, to elevate, to touch the heart — so 
much that will not from the memory, so much that makes a part of our 

o o 2 


The pleasure and the interest that I had in connecting these vener- 
able and desolate old churches with the traditions of the early faith, I 
would now share with others. And first, in that hollow at the foot of 
the Esquiline, and near to the Santa Maria Maggiore, we come upon 
two ancient churches dedicated to two charitable sisters : one of which 
is considered as the first building ever consecrated publicly for Christian 
worship, — in other words^ as the most ancient church in the known 

St. Pbaxedes and St. Pudentiana. 

ItcU, Santa Prassede e Santa Pudenziana. Fr. Sainto Prass^de et Sainte Potentienne. 

July 21. May 19. ad. 148. 

It is related, that when St. Peter came to Bome he lodged in the house 
of a patrician whose name was Pudens^ and that, in a short space of 
time, this Pudens, with his wife Sabinella, his son Novatus, and his two 
daughters, Praxedes and Pudentiana, were converted to the faith and 
baptized : soon afterwards, their parents and brothers being dead, the 
sisters were left alone, inheriting great riches, among which were 
certain public baths, and several houses at the foot of the Esquiline. 
At this time began the first great persecution of the Church, in which 
St, Peter and many saints perished. And these two sisters, Praxedes 
and Pudentiana, went about aiding, and comforting, and encouraging 
their poorer brethren. They sought out those who had been tortured 
and mutilated, received them into their houses, and ministered to them ; 
they visited those who were in prison, sending them food and clothing. 
Such works of mercy as tenderly-nurtured women shrink from, they 
performed fearlessly ; the bodies of the martyred Christians, which were 
cast out in numbers without burial, they sought for, and reverently 
washed and shrouded, and laid in the caves beneath their house ; and 
the blood they collected with a sponge, and deposited in a certain welL 
In all these things they were assisted by a certain holy man named 
Pastorus, who waited upon them with exceeding devotion. Thus they 
passed their lives in works of piety, daily braving, for the sake of their 
suffering brethren, the power of the tyrant, and the terrors of the law, 


^^— ^fc« I ■■■■■■111 ■ .1. I. ii_— ■ ^■^ ■ ■ ■- —^1 ■ ■- _ -- ■ ■ ■ M» ■ ■ ■ I ■ I — ^M^^ - ■ ■ ■ I I ■ I ■ ■^.^^^^^■^^^^■^^I^^^^^M^Mfc^^^^^^^^p^— ^^^,^^„,^^ 

yet by some miracle escaping the fate to which they were ever exposed : 
at length they died, after distributing all their remaining goods to the 
poor, and were buried in the cemetery of Priscilla. Pastorus, who 
survived them, wrote a brief chronicle of their virtues. The house of 
Pudens, already sanctified by the preaching of Peter and by the good 
works of the two holy sisters, was consecrated as a place of Christian 
worship by Pope Pius I. in the year 141. 

Their clmrches are among the most interesting relics of ancient 
Christian Romis. That of Santa Prassede is remarkable for the poetical 
significance and richness of the mosaics executed by order of Pope 
Paschal I. about the year 817, when he restored the then ancient and 
ruined church. The decoration of the apsis nearly resembles that of the 
church of St. Cosmo and St. Damian. The Saviour, a majestic 
colossal figure, stands in the midst, one hand extended, the other 
holding the Gospel as a roll. On the right, St Peter presenting St. 
Praxedes; on the left, St. Paul presenting St. Pudentiana: the two 
saints are richly draped, and bear crowns of offering in their hands. 
Farther to the left is seen St. Zeno holding the book of the Gospel * ; 
last on the right is Pope Paschal, the restorer of the edifice, bearing a 
church in his hands, and with the square nimbus over his head, denoting 
that he still existed at the time, and had not the dignity of saint. Palms 
close the composition on each side : on one of them sits the Phoenix, 
emblem of Immortality ; beneath this, and running round the apsis, are 
seen Christ as the Lamb, and the twelve apostles as sheep, in the usual 
manner. In front of the arch over the tribune, we have the Lamb of 
God throned, and the glorification of the martyrs as described in the 
Revelations. Lower down, the elders bearing crowns in their hands ; 
and in front of the arch, over the choir, the same motif continued. The 
heavenly Jerusalem is seen above, guarded by angels, Christ standing 
in the midst : the blessed company of saints and martyrs are seen in 
multitudes, on each side; some bearing crowns and some palms; all 
assisting, as it were, as witnesses of the exaltation of the two pious and 
devoted sisters, who had been their refuge on earth. 

* This St. 2^no is not the Bishop of Verona, who will be found among the bishops, bat 
one of the many martyrs wlio suffered in the time of St Praxedes, and to whom she and her 
sitfter ministered. — Caiaiogus Sanctorum ItaluPf Julii ix. 


In the same church are some bad modem frescoes representing 
Pudens and Sabinella, and in the centre is the well which received the 
blood of the martyrs. They show among the relics in the sacristy the 
holy sponge of St. Praxedes^ in a silver shrine^ remarkable for its 
execrable taste and bad workmanship. 

The church of St Pudentiana — the more ancient of the two — is even 
more curious and interesting, though the mosaic decorations are less 
rich. The mosaic of the apsis represents Christ in the midst, and on 
each side St Praxedes and St Pudentiana bearing martyr crowns in 
their hands, in gold and green drapery, and, as far as I could understand, 
presenting each five martyrs in white garments to the Saviour. The 
modern altar-piece, by Pomerancio, exhibits the two sisters wiping up 
the blood of the martyrs; one squeezes the sponge into a cup; the 
priest assisting represents Pastorus. Above, in a glory, is the apotheosis 
of St Pudentiana. In the Gaetani Chapel, on the left, there is a fine 
modern mosaic afler the cartoon of Frederic Zucchero, representing 
again the two sisters wiping up the blood of the slaughtered saints. 
There is here another well, containing, as it is said, the relics of 3000 
martyrs ; and a modem picture, representing St Peter baptizing Pudens 
and his family. 

Elsewhere I have not met with any picture of tiese earliest Sisters 
of Charity. I have seen a print bearing the name of Correggio, 
representing a beautiful female saint with flowing hair and a veil ; a cup 
in one hand, and in the other a sponge distilling drops of blood ; under- 
neath is inscribed, '* Ste Potentiejme.^ Of St. Praxedes I have never 
met with any separate representation. There is an altar dedicated to 
her in the Cathedral at Milan, which perplexed me till I recollected 
that St Charles Bonomeo was cardinal of Santa Prassede.^ 

On the other side of the Esquiline, and on the road leading from the 
Colosseum to the Lateran, surmounting a heap of sand and ruins, we 
come to the church of the " Quattro-Coronati," the Four Crowned 
Brothers. On this spot, some time in the fourth century, were found 

* See the " Monastic Legends.*' 


the bodies of four men who had suffered decapitation, whose names 
being then unknown^ they were merely distinguished as coronati, 
crowned^ that is, with the crown of martyrdom. There is great 
obscurity and confusion in the history of these saints, and their 
companions, the five martyrs, " I Cinque Martiri," who are honoured 
in the same place and on the same day. It is plain that the early 
painters did not distinguish them, and therefore I shall not attempt to 
do so. 

The legend relates that, in the reign of Diocletian, there lived in 
Rome four brothers, who were Christians, and who were cunning 
artificers in wood and stone, excelling in sculpture and architecture. 
** In those days," says Gibbon, *^ every art and every trade that was in 
the least concerned in the framing or adorning of idols, was, in the 
opinion of the Christians, polluted by the stain of idolatry ; a severe 
sentence, since it devoted to eternal misery the far greater part of the 
community employed in the liberal or mechanical professions ; " while 
those who refused to profane their art were as certainly condemned to 
poverty and starvation, if not to martyrdom. And this was the fate of 
the four crowned brothers. They refused to exercise their known skill 
in obedience to the emperor, saying, ^' We cannot build a temple to false 
gods, nor shape images of wood or stone to ensnare the souls of others." 
Whereupon some of them were scourged, and some were enclosed in 
iron cages and thrown into llie sea, and some were decapitated (Nov. 4. 
A. D. 400). We are not told how these punishments were awarded, nor 
bow their names and fate were afterwards revealed to a ^' santo huomo : " 
but here stands their church to witness to their conscientious piety and 
courage, and here it has stood for fourteen centuries. It is held in 
partictdar respect by the builders and stone-cutters of Bome, who are 
the proprietors of the principal chapel in it, which is dedicated to St. 
Sylvester, while the convent attached to the church belongs to a Sister- 
hood of Charity, who have the care and education of deserted orphans. 

These " Santi Coronati," and their companions the ** Cinque Martiri," 
of the same trade, are found not only in Boman Art, for I have seen 
them in the old sculpture and stained glass df Germany, and, as I re- 
member, in a curious old picture in Nuremberg. They are easily 
distinguished when they do occur, for they stand sometimes foujr, some- 


times five, in a row, bearing palms, with crowns upon their heads, and 
various implements of art, such as the rule, the square, the mallet, the 
chisel, at their feet Scenes from their legend are very uncommon : in 
those I have seen, the subjects selected have been the same. 

1. They refuse to build the idolatrous temple: they are kneeling 
before the emperor, holding their implements in their hands ; six guards 
around. 2. They are bound to four pillars, and tortured. 3. They are 
shut up in an iron cage, and cast into the sea. 

These three pictures I found in a predella by Alfani, highly finished, 
and full of expression.^ 

4. They are lying together in a sarcophagus, with crowns upon 
their heads. This subject I found in their church. 

The names differ, and therefore I give those usually inscribed either 
within their glories or over their heads : — Severianus, Carpophorus, 
Severus (or Secundus), Victorinus, Claudius, Symphorian, Castorius, 

On the other side of this solitary lane stands the far more celebrated 
church of San Clemente, one of the most extraordinary monuments of 
Christian Rome. Here, according to an ancient tradition, repose 
together the reliques of St. Ignatius, the famous bishop of Antioch, and 
St. Clement, the fellow-labourer of St* Paul. I shall not here give a 
description of this singular and interesting church, the favourite study 
of artists and antiquaries ; it may be found in Plattner, Vasi, Murray, 
and every German, Italian, and English guide to the antiquities of 
Some ; but content myself with telling what they do not tell, — the 
legend of St. Clement, whose dwelling stood upon this spot. 

He was the disciple of St Peter and St. Paul, and the third bishop 
of Rome. He is also considered as one of the Fathers of the Church, 
and the same person to whom St Paul alludes in his epistle to the 
Philippians (ch. iv. 3.), ** I entreat thee, true yokefellow, help those 
women which laboured with me in the gospel ; with Clement also, and 
with other my fellow-labourers, whose names are in the book of life." 

According to the legendary story of St Clement, he presided over 

« ' Perugia Acad. 


the church at Rome for many years^ converting numbers of people to 
the true faith, and amongst others DomitiUa, the niece of the Emperor 
Domitian, and another noble Roman lady whose name was Theodora. 
Through the protection of Domitilla, his life was secure during the 
reign of Domitian. In the year 100, under Trajan, began the third 
general persecution, which was the more afflicting because this emperor 
was in other respects famous for his humanity and his justice. 

The prefect who governed Rome, during the absence of Trajan on 
his expedition against the Dacians, commanded Clement to be brought 
before him, and on his refusal to sacrifice to the false gods he ordered 
him to be banished to an island whither many convicts were sent and 
obliged to work in the quarries of stone. There did many Christians 
already sigh in chains, and sevei'al voluntarily accompanied the good 
bishop, willing to partake of his banishment. Clement found the un- 
happy prisoners not only condemned to hard labour, but suffering cruelly 
from the want of water, which they had to bring from a distance of ten 
miles. The saint, moved with compassion, knelt down and prayed ; 
and, raising his eyes, he suddenly saw a lamb standing upon the summit 
of a rising ground, which, remaining invisible to all beside himself, he 
knew could be none other than the Lamb of God ; therefore St. Clement 
took up a pickaxe, and went before the people to the hill, and, digging 
there, a clear and abundant stream gushed forth, to the great consolation 
of the people. (Observe the beautiful and significant allegory !) This 
miracle only the more incensed his enemies, and they ordered him to be 
bound to an anchor and cast into the sea. But short was their triumph! 
for, at the prayer of the Christian disciples, the sea withdrew for the 
space of three miles, and they discovered a little ruined temple which 
had been formerly buried by the waters: and, wonderful to relate, 
within it was found the body of St. Clement with the anchor round his 
neck ; and, as it is related by credible witnesses, this miracle did not 
happen only once, but every year at the anniversary of his martyrdom 
the sea retired during seven days, leaving a dry path for those who 
went to honour the relics of the saint in this new species of submarine 
tomb. And this lasted for many years ; and many grave authors, who 
affirm this miracle, also relate, that a certain woman, accompanied by 
her son, being at prayer within the temple, her child fell asleep, and 



the sea rising suddenly the mother fled, leaving him behind in her fear, 
and when she reached the shore she wrung her hands, weeping bitterly, 
and passed that year in great affliction. The next year, returning to 
pay her devotions at the shrine, to her joyful surprise she found her son 
there, sleeping, just as she had left him. 

St. Clement, in the devotional pictures, appears habited as pope, 
sometimes with the tiara, but generally without it ; an anchor at his 
side, or a small anchor suspended round his neck. In the ancient 
mosaic in his church at Rome (12th century) he is thus represented 
seated by St. Peter and holding the anchor in his hand. In the frescoes 
of the little chapel already alluded to, on the wall opposite to the life of 
St. Catherine, Masaccio or one of his scholars painted a series of the 
life of St. Clement, now in a most ruined state ; we can distinguish the 
scene of the flood, and St. Clement discovering the fountain of living 
. waters — the waters of religious truth and consolation — to his thirsty 
and fainting disciples. The other subjects are scarcely to be recog- 

Far away from these churches, and in a desolate spot amid vineyards 
and ruins, between the Santa Croce and the Porte Maggiore, stands Ae 
small ancient church of Santa Bibiana, dedicated to her about the year 
468. She was a young Roman lady, who, with her father Flavianus, 
her mother Dafrosa, and her sister Demetria, sufiered martyrdom in the 
reign of Julian the Apostate. Persisting in her faith, she was scourged 
to death, or, according to another authority, first scourged and then 
pierced with a dagger (Dec 2. a.d. 362). The column to which she 
was bound is shown within the church, placed there by Urban VIII. 
when he restored the ruined edifice in 1622. 

The statue of St. Bibiana, in marble, by Bernini, stands upon the 
altar ; a graceful figure, leaning against a pillar, and holding the palm 

* The church of St Clement, in the Strand, is dedicated to this saint The derice of the 
parish is an anchor, which the beadles and other officiab bear on their buttons, &c., and 
which also surmounts the weathercock on the steeple. To choose the anchor— the symbol of 
stability — for a weathercock, appears strangely absurd till we know the reason. There arc in 
England fcrty-seven churches dedicated to St. Clement 


in her hand. The nave of the church is painted with a series of large 
frescoes, which exhibit her story in detail. 1. Bibiana refuses to sacri- 
fice to idols.* 2. The death of Demetria, who, according to the legend, 
fell dead to the earth before she was touched by the executioner. 3. 
Bibiana bound to a column, and scourged. 4. Her body, being cast 
forth unburied, is found by a dog. 5. Olympia, a noble Roman matron, 
founds the church, which is dedicated by Pope Simplicius. 

Between these large historical subjects are single devotional figures, 
of a colossal size, representing Bibiana, Dafrosa, Flavianus, Demetria, 
and Olympia. Though in a mannered taste, they have much grandeur, 
and are reckoned by Lanzi among the finest works of the master — 
Pietro da Cortona. 

On the brow of the Caelian Hill, and in a most striking situation, 
looking across to the ruins on the Palatine, stands the church of the 
two brothers St. John and Sr. Paul, who were martyred in the same 
year with Bibiana, and whose church has existed since the year 499. 
They were officers in the service of Constantia, whom the old legends 
persist in representing as a most virtuous Christian (though, I believe, 
she was far otherwise), and were put to death by Julian the Apostate. 
Their house stood upon this spot, one of the most beautiful sites in 
ancient Bome. 

In devotional pictures these saints are always represented standing 
together in the Boman military costume, and bearing the sword and the 

Their famous church at Venice, the SS. Giovanni e Paolo, can never 
be forgotten by those who have lingered around its wondrous and pre- 
cious monuments ; but among them we may seek in vain for the Boman 
tutelary saints — at least I did : and I believe, notwithstanding the 
magnificence of their church, the Venetians know nothing about them. 
The Dominicans, who raised this edifice in the thirteenth century, were 
emigrants from the convent of St John and St Paul, at Bome, and 
carried their patrons with them. 

* Eng. by Mercati, 1626. Bartsch, xx. p. 140. 

H R 2 


On the southern side of the Caelian Hill stand the San Stefano and 
the Santa Maria della Navicella ; then, as we descend into the valley, 
in that desolate hollow between the Caelian and the Aventine, and close 
to the baths of Caracalla, stands the old church of SS, Nereo and 


These two saints, Nereus and Achilleus, are peculiar to Rome. They 
were the chamberlains of Flavia Domitilla, grand-niece of the Emperor 
Domitian, and daughter of Flavius Clemens and the elder Domitilla, 
both of whom had suffered for their adhesion to Christianity. Flavia 
Domitilla was betrothed to Aurelian, son of the consul ; but her two 
chamberlains, zealous Christians, prevailed upon her to refuse this union 
with an idolater ; for which cause they were beheaded, and Domitilla 
was at the same time put to death at Terracina (May 12.). 

St. Nereus and St. Achilleus are represented standing in secular 
habits, bearing palms in their hands, on each side of Domitilla, who is 
richly dressed as princess, and bears her palm ; — as in a picture by 
Kubens, painted when he was in Kome in 1604, and now over the high 
altar of S. Maria della Vallicella. 

The Martyrdom of SS. Nereo and Achilleo in the church of S. Mad- 
dalena de' Pazzi at Florence, is a chef-d^oeuvre of Pocetti. 

Not far from this church is another of great antiquity, dedicated to 
St. Cesareo, who perished at Terracina, because he opposed himself 
to the worship of Apollo. Though very little is known of him, he was 
celebrated in the sixth century, both in the East and in the West At 
present his name and fame seem to be confined entirely to Rome. 

On the other side of the baths of Caracalla, and at the foot of the 
Aventine, we come upon the little church of Santa Balbina. Of its 
foundation all that we know is that it was an ancient church in the time 
of Gregory the Great (a.d. 590). 

St Balbina is another saint peculiar to Rome. According to the 
leo-end she was the daughter of the prefect Quirinus, and discovered 
the chains of St. Peter, which had long been lost (March 31. a.d. 130.) 
She is represented veiled, and holding a chain in her hand, or with 
fetters near her. 

On the summit of the Aventine are several of the most interesting of 



ST. PBISGA. 681 

these old churches. That of St. Sabina was dedicated to a noble 
Roman matron, who suffered martyrdom in the time of the Emperor 
Hadrian (Aug. 29. second century). This church, built upon the site 
of her house, existed in 423. Though spoilt, as usual, by whitewashing 
and restoration, it is singularly elegant. The altar-piece, by Frederic 
Zucchero, represents St. Sabina as dragged up the marble steps of a 
temple by an executioner with a drawn sword. With her was martyred 
her Greek slave Seraphia, who was also a zealous Christian, and, as the 
legend relates, had converted her mistress. St Sabina, though a 
Roman saint, is among those not confined to Rome. I saw at Venice, 
in the San Zaccaria^ a most lovely picture by the Vivarini of Murano, 
in which she is represented with her palm and crown, richly dressed, 
and surrounded by worshipping angels ; on the right, St Jerome ; and 
on the left, another saint in a short tunic, fastened with a gold belt, 
bearing a palm. The exquisite softness of this picture, the lovely 
colour, and the divine expression in the faces, render it one of the most 
beautiful productions of the early Venetian schooL 

Not far from the church of St Sabina is that of St. Prisca. 

On this spot, according to the old tradition, stood the house of Aquila 
and Priscilla, where St. Peter lodged when at Rome, and who are the 
same mentioned by St Paul as tent-makers; and here is shown the font 
from which, according to the same tradition, St Peter baptized the first 
Roman converts to Christianity. The altar-piece represents the baptism 
of St Prisca, whose remains being afterwards placed in this church, it 
has since borne her name. According to the legend, she was a Roman 
virgin of illustrious birth, who at the age of thirteen was exposed in the 
amphitheatre. A fierce lion was let loose upon her, but her youth and 
innocence disarmed the fury of the savage beast, which, instead of tear- 
ing her to pieces, humbly licked her feet ; — to the great consolation of 
the Christians, and the confusion of the idolaters. Being led back to 
prison, she was there beheaded. St. Prisca is not peculiar to Rome ; 
she appears in old prints and pictures, and in French sculpture and 
stained glass, bearing her palm, and with a lion at her side : sometimes 


also an eagle^ because it is related that an eagle watched by her body 
till it was laid in the grave ; for thus, says the story, was virgin inno- 
cence honoured by the kingly bird as well as by the kingly beast. St. 
Prisca was so much venerated in England that her name is preserved in 
our reformed calendar 

In the valley behind the Esquiline, in that long lonely road between 
Santa Maria Maggiore and the Lateran, stands the church of SS. Pietro 
e MarcelUnoy whom we style St. Peter Exorcista and Marcellinus. 
They are always represented together. Their legend i*elates, that in 
the last persecution under Diocletian they were cast into prison. Ar- 
temius, keeper of the dungeon, had a daughter named Paulina, and she 
fell sick ; and St. Peter offered to restore her to health if her father 
would believe in the true God. And the jailer mocked him, saying, 
" If I put thee into the deepest dungeon, and load thee with heavier 
chains, will thy God then deliver thee? If he doth, I will believe in 
him." And Peter answered, " Be it so ; not out of regard to thee, for 
it matters little to our God whether such an one as thou believe in him 
or not, but that the name of Christ may be glorified, and thyself con- 

And in the middle of the night Peter and Marcellinus, in white 
shining garments, entered the chamber of Artemius as he lay asleep> 
who, being struck with awe, fell down and worshipped the name of 
Christ ; and he, his wife, his daughter, and three hundred others, were 
baptized. After this the two holy men were condemned to die for the 
faith. And the executioner was ordered to lead them to a forest three 
miles from Bome, that the Christians might not discover their place of 
sepulture. And when he had brought them to a solitary thicket over- 
grown with brambles and thorns, he declared to them that they were to 
die, upon which they cheerfully fell to work and cleared away a space 
fit for the purpose, and dug the grave in which they were to be laid. 
Then they were beheaded, and died encouraging each other. (June 2.) 

The fame of SS. Pietro e Marcellino is not confined to Rome. In 
the reign of Charlemagne they were venerated as martyrs throughout 


Italy and Graul; and Eginhard, the secretary of Charlemagne, who 
married his daughter Emma, is said to have held them in particular 
honour. Every one, I believe, knows the beautiful story of Eginhard 
and Emma. And the connection of these saints with them as their 
chosen protectors lends an interest to their solitary deserted church. 

They are always represented together, in priestly habits, bearing their 
palms. In the Roma Sotteranea of Bosio, p. 126., there is an ancient 
fragment foimd in the catacombs which represents St% Peter Exorcista, 
St. Marcellinus, and Paulina standing together. In a picture by Ger- 
vasio Gatti, over the altar of their church at Cremona, the two saints, 
habited as priests, baptize Paulina, the daughter of the jailer ; the rest 
of the family and many converts being present. 

On the western brow of the Aventine, and not far from the Priorata, 
there stood, in the year 305 or 306, a little oratory, which a Greek 
woman of birth and fortune, named Aglae, had reared over the remains 
of her lover Boniface. According to the story, they had lived together 
in sin and luxury for many years ; but when the last dreadful persecu- 
tion of the Christians burst forth like a storm, both were seized with a 
deep compassion for the sufferers, and with compunction for their own 
sinful and shameful life ; and Aglae sent away her lover with much 
gold and treasure for the purpose of redeeming the Christian martyrs 
from torture, or at least their precious remains from insult. Boniface 
did as he was commanded, but in his zeal he exposed himself to death, 
and expiated his former sins by a glorious martyrdom. His mutilated 
body being brought home to Aglae, she immediately retired from the 
world, distributed her goods to the poor, and built a hermitage and an 
oratory, in which she deposited the remains of Boniface, and spent the 
rest of her life in prayers, tears, and penitence. Both were subse- 
quently canonised. 

But the oratory of Aglae and Boniface was soon afterwards almost 
forgotten in the superior fame of the church of St. Alexis, who^e story. 


as given in the Legendario Romano, is one of the most beautiful of the 
sacred romances of the middle ages.' 

St. Alexis. 

Lat S. Alctios. ltd. Sant' Alesnio. Fr. St. Alexis. Ger. Der Heilige Alexias 
Patron saint of pilgrims and beggars. Jalj 17. a-d. 400. 

In the days when Innocent I. was pope, and Arcadius and Honorius 
reigned over the East and West, there lived a man in Bdme whose 
name was Euphemian, rich and of senatorial rank ; he had a house and 
great possessions on the Caelian Hill, but he had no son to inherit his 
wealth. He and his wife, whose name was Aglae, besought the Lord 
earnestly to grant them offspring, and their prayer was heard ; for after 
many years they had a son, and called him Alexis. And Alexis from 
his childhood had devoted himself to the service of God, and became re- 
marked by all for his humility, his piety, and his charity. Although 
outwardly he went clothed in silk and gold, as became his rank, yet he 
wore a hair shirt next his body; and though he had a smiling and 
pleasant countenance towards all, yet in his chamber he wept inces- 
santly, bewailing his own sinful state and that of the world, and made a 
secret vow to devote himself wholly to the service of God. 

And when he was of a proper age his father wished him to marry, and 
chose out for his wife a maiden of noble birth, beautiful and graceful 
and virtuous, one whom it was impossible to look on without being irre- 
sistibly attracted. Alexis, who had never disobeyed his parents from 
his infancy upwards, trembled within himself for the vow he had spoken, 
and seeing his bride, how fair she was and how virtuous, he trembled 
yet the more ; but he did not dare to gainsay the words of his father. 

* Baillet says distinctly, '* Cette histoire de St. Alexis semble ctre plutot unc exhortation 
faite a la maniere dcs paraboles pour exciter au mepris du monde et i Tamour des humilia- 
tioiis, que la relation de quelque histoire veritable. H paroit pourtant que Tauteur n'a point 
produit du neant le fonds sur lequel il a voidu travailler et que TEglise n*a point cm que 
Saint Alexis ne fut qn^une idee de saintet^ ou un saint imaginaire, pnisqu^elle lui a decern^ 
un culte public en Orient et en Occident." — Bailiet, Vies des Saints, Juillet xvii. 

ST. ALEXIS. 685 

On the appointed day the nuptials were celebrated with great pomp and 
festivity ; but when evening came the bridegroom had disappeared^ and 
they sought him everywhere in v^n ; and when they questioned the 
bride, she answered, ** Behold, he came into my chamber and gave me 
this ring of gold, and this girdle of precious stones, and this veil of 
purple, and then he bade me farewell, and I know not whither he has 
gone 1 " And they were all astonished, and, seeing he returned not, 
they gave themselves up to grief: his mother spread sackcloth on the 
earth, and sprinkled it with ashes, and sat down upon it ; and his wife 
took off her jewels and bridal robes, and darkened her windows, and put 
on widow's attire, weeping continually ; and Euphemian sent servants 
and messengers to all parts of the world to seek his son, but he was 
nowhere to be found. 

In the mean time, Alexis, after taking leave of his bride, disguised 
himself in the habit of a pilgrim, fled from his father's house, and 
throwing himself into a little boat he reached the mouth of the Tiber ; 
at Ostia he embarked in a vessel bound for Laodicea, and thence he re- 
paired to Edessa, a city of Mesopotamia, and dwelt there in great 
poverty and humility, spending his days in ministering to the sick and 
poor, and in devotion to the Madonna, until the people, who beheld his 
great piety, cried out " A saint I " Then, fearing for his virtue, he left 
that place and embarked in a ship bound for Tarsus, in order to pay his 
devotions to St Paul. But a great tempest arose, and after many days 
the ship, instead of reaching the desired port, was driven to the mouth 
of the Tiber, and entered the port of Ostia. 

When Alexis found himself again near bis native home, he thought, 
** It is better for me to live by the charity of my parents, than to be a 
burthen to strangers ; " and, hoping that he was so much changed that 
no one would recognise him, he entered the city of Rome. As he ap- 
proached his father's house, he saw him come forth with a great retinue 
of servants, and, accosting him humbly, besought a comer of refuge 
beneath his roof, and to eat of the crumbs which fell from his table : 
and Euphemian, looking on him, knew not that it was his son ; never- 
theless he felt his heart moved with unusual pity, and granted his peti- 
tion, thinking within himself, " Alas for my son Alexis ! perhaps he is 
now a wanderer and poor, even as this man I " So he gave Alexis in 

VOL. IL 1 1 


charge to his servants, commanding that he should have all things 

But, as It often happens with rich men who have many servitors and 
slaves, Euphemian was ill obeyed ; for, believing Alexis to be what he 
appeared, a poor, ragged, way-worn beggar, they gave him no other 
lod^ng than a hole under the marble steps which led to his father's 
4oor, and all who passed and repassed looked on his misery; and the 
servants, seeing that he bore all uncomplaining, mocked at him, thinking 
him an idiot, and pulled his matted beard, and threw dirt on his head ; 
but he endured in silence. A far greater trial was to witness every 
day the grief of his mother and his wife : for his wife, like another 
Suth, refused to go back to the house of her fathers ; and often, as he 
lay In his dark hole under the steps, he heard her weeping in her 
chamber, and crying, **0 my Alexis! whither art thou gone? why 
hast thou espoused me only to forsake me ? " And, hearing her thus 
tenderly lamenting and upbraiding his absence, he was sorely tempted ; 
nevertheless he remained steadfast. 

Thus many years passed away, until his emaciated frame sunk under 
his sufferings, and it was revealed to him that he should die. Then he 
procured from a servant of the house pen and ink, and wrote a full 
account of all these things, and all that had happened to him in his life, 
and put the letter in his bosom, expecting death. 

It happened about this time, on a certain feast day, that Pope Inno^ 
cent was celebrating high mass before the Emperor Honorius and all 
his court, and suddenly a voice was heard which said, " Seek the servant 
of God who is about to depart from this life, and who shall pray for the 
city of Bome ! ^ So the people fell on their faces, and another voice 
said, " Where shall we seek him ?" And the first voice answered, *^ In 
the house of Euphemian the patrician." And Euphemian was standing 
next to the emperor, who said to him, "What! hast thou such a treasure 
in thy house, and hast not divulged it ? Let us now repair thither 
immediately." So Euphemian went before to prepare the way ; and as 
he approached his house, a servant met him, saying, " The poor beggar 
whom thou hast sheltered hast died within this hour, and we have laid 
him on the steps before the door." And Euphemian ran up the steps 
and uncovered the face of the beggar, and it seemed to him the face of 

ST. ALEXIS. 687 

an angel, such a glory of light proceeded irom it ; and his heart melted 
within him, and he fell on his knees ; and as the emperor and his court 
came near, he said, " This is the servant of God of whom the voice 
spake just now.** And when the pope saw the letter which was in the 
dead hand of Alexis, he humbly asked him to deliver it; and the hand 
relinquished it forthwith, and the chancellor read it aloud before all the 

But now what words shall describe the emotions of his father, when 
he knew that it was his son who lay before him ? and how the mother 
and the wife, rushing forth distracted, flung themselves on the senseless 
body, and could with diflSculty be separated from it ? and how for seven 
days they watched and wept beside him ? and how the people crowded 
to touch his sacred remains, and many sick and infirm were healed 
thereby? But all this I pass over : let it suffice that on the spot where 
stood the house of Euphemian the church of St Alexis now stands. 
The marble steps beneath which he died are preserved in the church, 
in a chapel to the left of the entrance, and beneath them is seen the 
statue of the saint lying extended on a mat in the mean dress of a poor 
pilgrim, his staff beside him, and the letter in his hand. The remains 
of Aglae and the martyr Boniface also rest in this church under the 
high altar. 

Although St Alexis did not perish by a violent death, yet, through 
his extreme sufferings, and the spirit of resolute yet humble resignation 
in which they were met and endured, he is supposed to have merited 
the honours of martyrdom. I have seen figures of St Alexis in which, 
in addition to the pilgrim's habit, ragged and worn, and the beggar's 
dish, he carries the palm. In the mosaics of Monreale he stands among 
the glorified martyrs, of colossal size, in a white vest, a blue mantle, the 
crown on his head, and the cross, through which he triumphed, in his 

But in general we find St Alexis represented in the old pictures and 
prints as penitent, pilgrim, and beggar ; in the churches of the ascetic 
orders, and in hospitals and houses of refuge for the poor, which are 
placed under his protection, we find his effigy with the characteristic 
ragged attire, and expression of pathetic resignation and humility. 

1 I 2 


!• There is a fine statue of St. Alexis on the fa9ade of the church of 
the Trinity at Florence. 

2. In a picture by Pietro da Cortona at Alton Towers, St. Alexis is 
dying under the steps of his father's door, holding the cross and a paper 
pressed to his bosom. The figure is life-size, and very forcible in colour 
and expression. 

3. In a very fine picture by Annibal Caracci, painted for the Men- , 
dicanti at Bologna, St. Alexis, as pilgrim and beggar, stands with St 
Louis, St Catherine, St Clara, and St John the Baptist : he might be 
mistaken for St Koch, but that the last-named saint has always the 
plague-spot, which distinguishes his effigies from those of St Alexis. 

At the foot of the Capitoline Hill, on the left hand as we descend 
from the Ara Coeli into the Forum, there stood in very ancient times a 
small chapel dedicated to the memory of St. Martina, a Roman virgin, 
who was martyred in the persecution under Alexander Severus. The 
veneration paid to her was of very early date, and the Boman people 
were accustomed to assemble there on the first day of the year. This 
observance was, however, confined to the people, and not very general 
till 1634 ; an era which connects her in rather an interesting manner 
with the history of Art. In this year, as they were about to repair her 
chapel, they discovered, walled into the foundations, a sarcophagus of 
terra-cotta, in which was the body of a young female, whose severed 
head reposed in a separate casket. These remains were very naturally 
supposed to be those of the saint who had so long been honoured on 
that [spot The discovery was hailed with the utmost exultation, not 
by the people only, but by those who led the minds and the consciences 
of the people. The pope himself, Urban VIII., composed hymns in 
her praise ; and Cardinal Francesco Barberini undertook to rebuild her 
church. Amongst those who shared the general enthusiasm, was the 
painter Pietro da Cortona, who was at Rome at the time, and who very 
earnestly dedicated himself and his powers to the glorification of St 
Martina. Her church had already been given to the Academy of 
Painters, and consecrated to St Luke, their patron saint It is now 


** San' Luca e Santa Martina.'' Pietro da Cortona erected at his own 
cost the chapel of St. Martina^ and, when he died, endowed it with his 
whole fortune. He painted for the altar-piece his best picture, in which 
the saint is represented as triumphing over the idols, while the temple, 
in which she had been led to sacrifice, is struck by lightning from 
heaven, and falls in ruins around her,' In a votive picture of St. Mar- 
tina kneeling at the feet of the Virgin and Child, she is represented as 
very young and lovely; near her, a horrid instrument of torture, a two- 
pronged fork with barbed extremities, and the lictor's axe, signify the 
manner of her death. The picture called *' une Jeune MartyreJ^ by 
Guido Cagnacci^ in the Orleans Grallery, is a St. Martina. 

Not far from the church of San Gregorio, and just under the 
Palatine Hill, we find the church of St. Anastasia, who, notwith- 
standing her beautiful Greek name, and her fame as one of the great 
Baints of the Greek calendar, is represented as a noble Roman lady, who 
perished during the persecution of Diocletian : the same, I presume, who 
in Didron's ".Manual of Greek Art " is styled ** Anastasie la Romaine." 
Her story is mixed up with that of St Chrysogonus (Grisogono), 
who also suffered martyrdom at that time, and is chiefly celebrated for 
his influence over the mind of Anastasia, and the courage with which 
he inspired her. She was persecuted by her husband and family for 
openly professing the Christian faith, exposed to many trials, sorrows, 
and temptations, and through all these, being sustained by the eloquent 
exhortations of Chrysogonus, she passed triumphantly, receiving in due 
time the crown of martyrdom, being condemned to the flames. Chry- 
sogonus was put to death by the sword, and his body thrown into 
the sea. 

According to the best authorities, these two saints did not suffer at 
Bome, but in Blyria ; yet at Rome we are assured that Anastasia, after 
her martyrdom, was buried by her friend ApoUina in the garden of her 
house, under the Palatine Hill, and close to the Circus Maximus. 

' There is a small copy of this once-admired picture in the Dolwich Gallerj. 


There stood the church dedicated to her in the fourth century, and there 
it now stands. 

It was one of the principal churches in Rome in the time of St 
Jerome, who, according to an ancient tradition, celebrated mass at one 
of the altars, which is still regarded on this account with peculiar 
Teneration. To St. Anastasia is dedicated a beautiful church at Verona; 
where, however, I looked in vain for any picture representing her. The 
proper attributes are the palm, the stake, and the faggots. 

With regard to St. Chrysogonus, his fine church in the Trastevere, 
existing since 599, was modernised by Scipio Borghese, cardinal of San 
Grisogono, in 1623 ; when Guercino painted for the ceiling of tiie nave 
his grand picture of the saint carried up to heaven by angels. This 
picture now decorates the ceiling of the Duke of Sutherland's gallery at 
Stafford House. I have never seen any other picture of St. Chry- 
sogonus : his proper attributes are the sword and the palm, which in 
Guercino's picture are borne by angels. 

Not far from the church of San Grisogono, and on a rising ground, 
stands the church of San Pancrazio, our St. Pancras. In the 
persecution under Diocletian, this young saint, who was only fourteen 
years of age, offered himself voluntarily as a martyr, defending boldly 
before the emperor the cause of the Christians. He was thereupon 
beheaded by the sword, and his body was honourably buried by the 
Christian women. His church near the Gate of San Pancrazio, at 
Rome, has existed since the year 500. 

St. Pancras was in the middle ages regarded as the protector against 
false oaths, and the avenger of perjury. It was believed that those 
who swore by St Pancras falsely, were immediately and visibly 
punished ; hence his popularity. We have a church dedicated to him in 
London, and a large parish bearing his name : French kings anciently 
confirmed their treaties in the name of St Pancras. I recollect no 
effigy of him; but he ought to be represented as a boy of a very 
beautiful countenance, richly dressed in the secular habit, and bearing 
his palm and sword. 


Except at Rome I have never seen any eflSgy of St. Susanna ; — 
but I think it probable that such may exist. It appears, however, that 
those who bore the name of Susanna preferred as their patroness the 
chaste matron of the Old Testament to the virgin martyr of the Roman 
legend. It is related that this Susanna was of illustrious birth, the 
daughter of Gabinius, who was the brother of Pope Caius, and also 
nearly related to the Emperor Diocletian. She was very fair, but morQ 
especially remarkable for her learning and her subtle and penetrating 
intellect Diocletian, hearing everywhere of her praises, was desirous 
to marry her to his adopted son Maximus ; but she, who had made a 
vow of perpetual chastity, refused to listen to these tempting oflfers. 
Whereupon the emperor desired his wife, the Empress Serena, to send 
for her, and to endeavour to overcome her obstinacy. Now the 
empress, unknown to her husband, was really a Christian ; therefore she 
rather encouraged Susanna in her resistance. Diocletian, being enraged 
at her firmness, sent an executioner, who put her to death in her own 
house (Aug. 11. A.D. 290). 

She is chiefly honoured at Rome, and would appear to be little known 
out of that city. Her statue in marble by Flamingo, over her altar in 
the church of Santa Maria di Loretto near the Forum of Trajan, is one 
of his finest works, and very simple and elegant. She holds the sword 
and palm as martyr; but I know not any other attribute by which she 
is distinguished. 

St. Chrysanthus (or San Grisante) and St Daria suffered martyrdom 
together at Rome, about the year 257 ; or, as others say, under the 
reign of Numerian, about 284. Their story is very obscure. One 
legend represents St Daria as a Vestal virgin, who, on her conversion 
to Christianity, extinguished the sacred fire, and was consequently 
buried alive; and it is also related that she was married to St 
Chrysanthus, who converted her. I mention them here because they 
appear in the early mosaics at Ravenna, and have been introduced into 
the magnificent altar-piece, by Giulio Campi, in the church of St 
Sigismond at Cremona. This church was dedicated by Francesco 

Ox c , 


Sforza^ on the occasion of his marriage with Bianca Maria Yisconti^ the 
heiress of Milan, which was celebrated on the festival of St. Chrysanthus 
and St Daria (October 25.>» 

St. Eugenia, anciently one of the most popular and potential saints 
in the Soman calendar, was the daughter of Philip, proconsul of Egypt 
in the reign of Commodus. She was brought up at Alexandria in all 
the wisdom of the Gentiles, was converted to Christianity, and, in 
learning, eloquence, and courage, seems to have been the prototype of 
St. Catherine, by whom, however, she has been completely eclipsed. 
According to the legend, she put on man's attire, and became a monk 
in Egypt, under the name of the abbot Eugenius ; but afterwards, 
returning to Rome, she suffered martyrdom by the sword, under the 
Emperor Severus. She rarely appears in works of art, having lost her 
popularity before the period of the revivaL We find her in the 
procession of martyrs at Bavenna; and I have seen a picture of her 
martyrdom in the Bologna Gallery, by Giovanni Sementi, treated with 
much sentunent 

The two saints who follow, though counted among the Roman 
martyrs, are of general interest. They have many chapels at Rome, 
but no church dedicated in their name. 

St. Felicitas and her Seven Sons, Martyrs. 

/to/. Santa Fdicita. Fr, S^nte Felicite. Patroness of male heirs. Nov. 23. a.d. 173. 

*^ In the reign of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, there was a 
great persecution of the Christians. They were deemed the cause, if 
not the authors, of all the terrible calamities, the plagues and wars, 
famines and earthquakes, which at that time desolated the empire, and 
an inexorable edict condemned them either to sacrifice or to die. In 

* For a further account of this picture, see the ** Legends of the Monastic Orders," p. 183. 


this persecution, Polycarp perished in the East, and Justin in 
the West. 

^^ At the same time there dwelt in Rome an illustrious matron named 
Felicitas, a widow having seven sons, whom she brought up in the 
Christian faith, devoting herself to a life of virtuous retirement, and 
employing her days in works of piety and charity. Her influence and 
example, and the virtuous and modest deportment of her sons, caused 
many to become Christians, so that the enemies of the faith were greatly 
enraged against her; and as she was exceedingly rich, those who shared 
in the spoil of the martyrs were eager to accuse her. She was 
accordingly cited before the tribunal of Publius, the prefect of the city, 
who, at first with mildness, and then with threatening words, en- 
deavoured in vain to induce her to deny Christ, and sacrifice to the 
false gods. And the prefect said to her, * If thou hast no regard for 
thyself, at least have compassion on thy sons, and persuade them to yield 
to the law.' But she replied that her sons would know how to choose 
between everlasting death and everlasting life. Then the prefect called 
them all one after another before him, and commanded them to abjure 
Christ on pain of torments and of death ; but their mother encouraged 
them to persevere in resistance, saying to them, * My sons, be strong in 
heart, and look up to heaven, where Christ and all his saints await your 
coming; and defy this tyrant boldly, for so shall the King of glory 
reward you greatly.' On hearing these words the prefect was enn^ed, 
and he commanded the executioners to strike her on the mouth, and put 
her to silence ; but she continued to exhort her sons to die rather than 
to yield. Then, one after another, they were tortured and put to death 
before the eyes of their mother: first, the eldest, whose name was 
Januarius, was scourged with thongs loaded with lead until he died ; 
next to him, Felix and Philip were beaten with clubs ; Sylvanus was 
flung from a rock ; and Alexander, Yitalis, and Martial were decapitated. 
During their suflerings the mother heroically stood by, and ceased not 
to comfort and encourage them ; and when she beheld them extended in 
death before her, she lifted up her voice and blessed God that she had 
bi*ought forth seven sons worthy to be saints in paradise. Her hope 
was to follow them speedily ; but the tyrant, through a refinement of 
cruelty, caused her life to be prolonged for four months in prison, ia 



order that she might suffer a daily martyrdom of agony, hoping to 
subdue her spirit through affliction : but she remained firm in the futh, 
still refusing steadily and meekly to yield, and desiring no other mercy 
but that of speedily following her martyred children. At length the 
time of her deliyerance arrived, and, being dragged from prison, she was 
tortured in various ways, and then beheaded ; or, as some say, thrown 
into a caldron of boiling oil. This happened on the 23rd day of 
November, A. D. 173." 

St Felicitas bears the palm as martyr ; as matron and widow she is 
hooded or veiled, with ample drapery, as in a beautiful figure by Spi- 
nello ' : she is usually accompanied by her seven sons. The earliest 
example is a most curious fragment of fresco, found in the catacombs, 
and now preserved in the Vatican. She is standing in the midst of her 
sons, with arms outspread in prayer, and of colossal proportions com- 
pared with the other figures, who are ranged in a line on each side, and 
their names inscribed above. 

In a singular picture, attributed to Neri de' Bicci (a.d. 1476), and 
now preserved in the sacristy of the church of Santa Felicita at 
Florence, she is seated on a throne, a majestic colossal figure, holding 
in one hand the Gospel, which rests on her knee, in the other the palm, 
while her sons, small in proportion, and treated as accessaries or attri- 
butes, are ranged on each side, the youngest standing rather in front 
All have palms and golden glories, and wear rich dresses ; and all but 
the youngest appear as warriors. I give an etching from this picture, 
which has never been engraved. 

By Grarbieri. St Felicitas presents her seven sons at the feet of the 
Madonna and Child. In the church of St Maurice at Mantua. 

In the so-called ** Martyrdom of St Felicitas," a famous composition 
by Raphael, a female saint is represented standing in a caldron or bath, 
her hands clasped in prayer. Two headless bodies lie on the ground : 
the prefect is seen on his tribunal surrounded by his lictors, and groups 
of amazed or sympathising spectators are standing around. An angel, 
exquisite for grace and movement, and cleaving the air like a bird, comes 
down from above with the crown of martyrdom. There can be no doubt 

* One of the attendant figures in a Corunatiun of the Virgin, in the Florence Academy. 


that we have here the death of St. Cecilia, and not the death of St 
Felicitas ; that this was the subject designed by Raphael probably about 
the time that he painted the St. Cecilia at Bologna, and that the print 
was afterwards misnamed.' 

The seven Jewish brethren, who with their heroic mother are cele- 
brated in the Second Book of Maccabees, are sometimes introduced into 
ecclesiastical decoration. They have a place among the Greek martyrs, 
and the representation is so exactly like that of St. Felicitas and her 
sons, that I know not how to distinguish them farther than to observe, 
that in churches constructed under the influence of Byzantine Art, 
seven young martyrs grouped together with their mother most probably 
represent the Jewish brethren (Jes sept Machabees) ; for St Felicitas, 
though so famous in the West, was not accepted in the East.^ 

* The composition was painted hy one of the pupils of Raphael on the left wall of the 
chapel of the Villa Magliana, near Rome $ bat it is nearly destroyed. The fine engraving of 
Marc Antonio has, however, preserved the original design in all its beauty. 

' The confusion which anciently existed between these Jewish and Christian martyrs waa 
such that the name of Felicitas was given to the mother of the Maccabees. The church of 
Santa Felidtii at Florence stands where stood a chapel dedicated to the Sette Macccibeif and 
the hymn in the ancient office of the Church shows that the two mothers were confounded 
under the same name : — 

** Salve ! Sancta Felicitas 
Nobilibus cum filiis, 
Tu florida fecunditas 
Ornata septem filiis, 
Vos lege sub Mosaica 
Vixistis corde simplice, 
FrsDceptaque Dominica 
Servastis mente supplice ! " 

V. RicuA, Chiese Fiorenline, ix. 

K K 2 


St. Veronica. 

/to/. SanU Veronica. Fr, Sainte V^roniquc 
Tho festival of St. Veronica (La Sainte Face de J. C)\s held on Shrove Tuesday. 

It is an ancient tradition, that when our Saviour was on his way to 
Calvary, bearing his cross, he passed by the door of a compassionate 
woman, who, beholding the drops of agony on his brow, wiped his fece 
with a napkin, or, as others say, with her veil, and the features of 
Christ remained miraculously impressed upon the linen. To this image 
was given the name of Vera Icon, the true image, and the cloth itself 
was styled the Sudarium (ItaL II Sudario ; Fr, Le Saint Suaire). All 
the stories relative to the sudarium belong properly to the legendary life 
of Christ ; I shall therefore only observe here, that the name given to 
tlie image was insensibly transferred to the woman of whom the legend 
is related. The active imagination of the people invented a story for 
her, according to which she was Veronica or Berenice, the niece of King 
Herod, being the daughter of his sister Salome, who had been devoted 
to the pomps and vanities of the world, but, on witnessing the suffering 
and meekness of the Saviour, was suddenly converted. The miraculous 
power of the sacred image impressed upon her napkin being universally 
recognised, she was sent for by the Emperor Tiberius to cure him of a 
mortal malady. But the wicked emperor having already breathed his 
last, she remained at Rome in company with St. Peter and St Paul, 
until she suffered martyrdom under Nero; or, according to another 
legend, she came to Europe in the same vessel with Lazarus and Mary 
Magdalene, and suffered martyrdom either in Provence or Aquitaine. 
I think it unnecessary to enter further into these legends, which have 
been rejected by the Church since the eleventh century. But the 
memory of the compassionate woman, and the legend of the miraculous 
image, continue to be blended in the imaginations of the people. In the 
ancient pictures of the procession to Calvary, St. Veronica is seldom 


The devotional figures always repreaent her oa displayiDg the eaored 
haDdkerchief. Sometiines, in allu- 
uOD to the legend, she is Btaading 
between St. Peter and St Paul, as 
in a picture by Ugo da Carpi in the 
sacristy of the Vatican ; and in a 
woodcut by Albert Diirer — very 
fine and solemn. Sometimea the 
miraculous image is of colossal pro- 
portions ; as in a very curious old 
picture in the Boisser^e Gallery. 
In St. Peter's at Kome, one of the 
chapels under the dome is dedicated 
to St. Veronica. Ad ancient image 
of our Saviour, painted on linen, 
and styled the Vera Icon', is re- 
garded by the people as the veri- ^^ g_ v««iia. (Andm &>«hi.) 
table napkin of St. Veronica, and is 

exhibited among the relics of the church. In this chapel the mosaic 
over the altar, after a design by Andrea Sacchi, represents the Saviour 
sinking under the weight of the cross, and St. Veronica kneeling beside 
him in white. It is a simple, elegant composition, very matter of fact, 
and not in the least either mysterious or poetical. 

I have now done with the Roman Martyrs. Those which follow here 
are honoured principally in the north of Italy, and their effigies are to 
be found in the works of Art in Tuscany, Lombardy, and Venice. I 
have added those few French and Spanish saints who have a general in- 
terest in connection with Art, either because their celebrity has been 
widely diffused, or because of the beauty and importance of those pro- 
ductions in which they have been represented. 

I Wlience it i» nppoied tbU the name of Venmica it derircd. 


The early Martyrs, who figure almost exclusively in pictures of the 
Tuscan schools, are rather curious as subjects of ancient Art, than either 
interesting or celebrated. 

St. Rbparata was for six hundred years (from 680 to 1298) the 
chief patroness of Florence. According to the old Florentine legend, 
she was a virgin of Cesarea in the province of Cappadocia, and bravely 
sufiered a cruel martyrdom in the persecution under Decius, when only 
twelve years old. She was, after many tortures, beheaded by the 
sword ; and as she fell dead, her pure spirit was seen to issue from her 
mouth in form of a dove, which winged its way to heaven. 

The Duomo at Florence was formerly dedicated to St. Reparata ; 
but about 1298 she appears to have been deposed from her dignity as 
sole patroness ; the city was placed under the immediate tutelage of the 
Virgin and St. John the Baptist, and the church of St Reparata was 
dedicated anew under the title of Santa Maria-del-Fiore. 

I have never seen any representation of Santa Reparata except in the 
old Florentine pictures. In these she is frequently introduced standing 
alone or near the Madonna, bearing the crown and palm as martyr, and 
sometimes also a banner, on which is a red cross on a white ground. 

In a picture by Angelo Graddi she wears a green robe, and bears the 
crown, book, and banner. In another ancient Florentine picture she is 
in a white robe and red mantle, with the same attributes. In a grand 
composition of Fra Bartolomeo, representing the Madonna surrounded 
by many saints, and especially the protectors of Florence, St. Reparata, 
who is on the left of the Virgin, bears the palm, and leans her hand on 
the book. She is sometimes represented standing with St. Ansano, the 
patron of Siena, as in a picture by Simone Memmi.* Such pictures, I 
apprehend, must have been painted when Florence and Siena were at 
peace. It is difficult to distinguish St Reparata from St Ursula, unless 

* All the Above pictarcs arc in the Florence Gallery. 


where the latter stunt bears her javelin : where there is a doubt, and the 
picture is undeniably Florentine^ the locality and the traditions must be 

Another saint, who is sometimes represented in the old Florentine 
pictures, is St. Verdiana (a.d. 1222), usually dressed as a Vallom- 
brosian nun, but she did not belong to any order. She is represented 
with serpents feeding from her basket. 

"Who, that remembers Florence, does not remember well the San 
MiNiATO-iN-MoNTE towcring on its lofty eminence above the city, and 
visible along the Lung' Amo from the Ponte alle Grazie to the Ponte 
alia Carraja? — and the enchanting views of the valley of the Amo as 
seen from the marble steps of the ancient church ? — and the old dis* 
mantled fortress defended by Michael Angelo against the Medici? — and 
the long avenue of cypresses and the declivities robed in vineyards and 
olive grounds between the gate of San Miniato and the lofty heights 
above ? But for the old saint himself, he has fared not much better than 
St. Reparata. 

According to the Florentine legend, St. Minias or Miniato was an 
Armenian prince serving in the Koman army under Decius. Being 
denounced as a Christian, he was brought before the emperor, who was 
then encamped upon a hill outside the gates of Florence, and who ordered 
him to be thrown to the beasts in the Amphitheatre. A panther was 
let loose upon him, but when he called upon our Lord he was delivered ; 
he then suffered the usual torments, being cast into a boiling caldron, 
and afterwards suspended to a gallows, stoned, and shot with javelins ; 
but in his agony an angel descended to comfort him, and clothed him in 
a garment of light : finally he was beheaded. Ub martyrdom is placed 
in the year 254. 

There is a town bearing his name half way between Florence and 
Pisa, celebrated as the birth-place of Francesco Sforza, and the first seat 
of the Buonaparte family. 

Effigies of this saint are confined to Tuscany ; all those I have seen 
are in his church near Florence, never having visited the cathedral at 
San-Miniato. He is represented in the attire of a prince, with a scarlet 


robe, a golden crown, one or two javelins in his hand, a lily and a palm ; 
and 18 thus exhibited in a very old picture of the Giotto school, with his 
life in eight small compartments painted around the principal figure. 

The Greek mosaic in the choir of his church (11th century), repre- 
sents him as standing on one side of Christ (the Virgin and St John on 
the other) ; he wears the regal crown and mantle, and holds the Greek 
cross. An old fresco, engraved in the " Etruria Pittrice," represents 
him with similar attributes. 

St. Ansano appears only in the pictures of the ancient Siena school. 
He was, until the end of the thirteenth century, the chief patron of the 
city of Siena ; but his popularity has waned before that of the modem 
patrons, St. Bernardino and St. Catherine. 

Ansanus Tranquillinus was the son a noble Koman. His nurse. 
Maxima, a Christian woman, caused him to be secretly baptized : he 
grew up to the age of nineteen in the faitlf of Christ, and then 
disclosed his religion, converting and baptizing many ; hence he is con- 
sidered as the apostle of Siena. In the terrible persecution under Diocle- 
tian, after many sufferings and many miracles, operated through faith 
and charity, Ansanus was beheaded on the banks of the river Arbia.' 

St Ansano appears in the Siena pictures as a youth richly dressed, 
bearing the palm. The city with its massive towers is often introduced 
into the background : sometimes as patron, he carries it in his hand. 
As one who preached the faith, and baptized, he bears also the standard 
of the cross. 

There is a graceful figure of St Ansano in a picture by Simone 
Memmi, in which he holds a palm with a cluster of dates depending 
from it ; the companion figure, called in the catalogue St Julitta, a 
saint who had no connection with this part of Italy, I suppose to be 
St Beparata.^ A fine statue of St Ansano baptizing the Sienese 
converts is in the Duomo of Siena. 

Santa Fina is scarcely known, I believe, beyond the walls of the 
little town of San Gemignano. She was not properly a martyr, not 
having died a violent death ; but long and crpel sufferings from disease, 

• Catalogus Sanctoram Itelias. ' Florence GaL 


endured not only with patience but cheerfulness^ during which she 
worked with her hands as long as it was possible, and ministered to 
the poor, procured her the honour of canonisation. The people 
regarded her, while living, with enthusiastic veneration; and it is 
related, that at the moment of her death all the bells in San Gemignano 
tolled spontaneously, untouched by human hands; — a poetical figure of 
speech, expressing the intense and universal grief. She had been 
warned of her approaching end by a vision of St. Gregory, whom she 
held in especial honour ; and when borne to the place of sepulture, she 
was seen to raise her emaciated hand and bless her aged nurse, who was 
thereupon delivered from a grievous malady. 

All these incidents were painted in the beautiful little chapel of 
Santa Fina, in the Cathedral of San Gemignano, by Sebastian Mai- 
narJi, with a delicate and pathetic grace, and a truth and tenderness of 
sentiment, worthy of Angelico himself. There are no tragic horrors, 
little to strike the eye or seize the attention ; but the whole story, as 
expressed in Art, is the glorification of feminine patience, fortitude, and 
charity. St Fina died on the r2th of March, 1253. 

Effigies of St. ToRpfe, or Torpet, appear to be peculiar to the 
locality of Pisa ; he was the patron saint of that city, until superseded by 
San Banierl. According to the Pisan legend, he was a noble Boman, 
who served in the guards of the Emperor Nero, was converted by the 
Apostle Paul, and suffered martyrdom for the faith in the year 70 
(May 17.). The perpetual intercourse between the ports of Western 
Italy and those of Provence introduced St. Torp^ into France, where 
he was long known and venerated under the name of St. Tropes. The 
port of Saint Tropez, east of Marseilles, bears his name, and has a fine 
old church dedicated to his memory. 

Except in the churches of Pisa, I have not met with St. Torpe. In 
the Duomo there, is a picture, representing him as a Roman warrior, 
and bearing the white banner with a red cross : any where else he 
might be mistaken for a St George. In the same church is his 
martyrdom ; he is beheaded by an executioner. 

The old Pisan chronicle relates, that in a frightful dearth caused by 
the want of rain, the bed of the Arno being completely dry, the head 



of St. Torpe was carried in grand procession through the city ; and 
such was the efficacy of his intercession^ that a sudden flood descending 
from the mountains not only overflowed the banks of the river, but 
swept away part of the pious procession, and with it the head of the 
saint. The people were in despair ; but, lo ! two angels appeared to 
the rescue, dived under the waves, and brought up the head, which 
they restored to the hands of the archbishop. This picturesque story 
is also represented in the Duomo at Pisa. 

St. Torp^ does not appear in the most ancient works of Pisan Art, 
not even in the Campo Santo : before the thirteenth century he had 
been completely eclipsed by St. Kanieri; but in the seventeenth 
century his celebrity revived, and all the pictures I saw of him were of 
that period. 

St. Ephesus and St. Potitus (Sant' Efeso and San Potito) are 
also, I believe, peculiar to Pisa. The legend relates that St. Ephesus, 
an officer in the service of the Emperor Diocletian, was sent to destroy 
all the Christians in Sardinia ; but, being warned in a dream not to 
persecute the servants of the Lord, he turned his arms against the 
Pagans, and with his friend St. Potitus, a native of Cagliari, suflered 
martyrdom in the Christian cause. 

The Pisans having subdued the island of Sardinia in the eleventh 
century, bore the relics of these two Sardinian saints in triumph to 
their city, and placed them within the precincts of the Duomo. 

The legend of St. Ephesus is among the frescoes of the Campo 
Santo, painted by Spinello Aretino. 

1. He kneels in the habit of a warrior before the Roman emperor, 
and receives his commission to extirpate the Christians. On the other 
side is seen the apparition of our Lord, who commands him to desist 
from persecuting the servants of Christ. 

2. St Ephesus, having become a Christian soldier, fights against the 
heathen, and receives from St. Michael, an armed angelic warrior on 
horseback, the Christian standard (the cross on the red ground, which 
is the standard of Pisa) ; in the next compartment he is seen combating 
the Pagans, assisted by St. Michael. The insular position of Sardinia, 
with regard to Pisa, is expressed by water flowing round it, with 
fishes, &c. 


3. The Martyrdom of St Epheeus; he is seen in a blue robe 
embroidered with stars, kneeling, unharmed, in the midst of a fiery 
furnace, while the flames issuing from it destroy the soldiers and 

Three other compositions, which represented the martyrdom of St 
FotJto, and the tranalatJon of the relics from Sardinia to Fisa, are now 
wholly ruined and ef&ced. 

St. Libebale (April 27.), venerated in the Friuli, is said to be 
represented by Giorgione in a beautiful 
picture now in the Duomo at Castel- 
franco, and in a picture by Varottaii, in 
S. M. dei Carmine at Venice.' 

The patron saint of Rimini is St. 
Julian of Cilicia, one of the Greek 
martyrs who have been celebrated in 
Western Art Nothing is known or 
recorded of him but the courage with 
which he endured a cruel and prolonged 
martyrdom, of which St Chrysoetom 
has given a full account I imagine 
that it is this St Julian of Himiui who 
is introduced into a splendid picture by 
liorenzo Credi, as the pendant of St 
Nicholas of Bari ; they would naturally 
be placed together as patron saints of 
two of the greatest ports on the eastern 
shore of the Adriatic. He is also 
standing with St. Nicholas, and accom- 
panied by St Barbara and St Christina 
kneeling, in a beautiful little " Corona- 
tion of the Virgin," by the same painter.' '*' *■ J"""- ii^^'^o a cmu. Lour; 

' The figure called St. liberalo (more probably a St. George), by Giorgione, is the ei 
figure (nearly) as the little St George which belonged to Mr. Roger*, and which is now 
the National Gallery. « y, p, ggg^ ,^^ 


In the devotional pictures, St Julian is represented young and 
graceful, often with flowing hair ; with a melancholy yet benign aspect, 
richly dressed in the secular habit, bearing his palm, sometimes the 
standard of victory, and the sword. 

His whole history is painted in the church of San Giuliano at Rimini. 
One of the scenes represents him as thrown into the sea in a sack full 
of serpents : in another the sarcophagus containing his body is guided 
over the waves by angels till it arrives on the shores of the territory of 
Kimini. I have never seen these pictures, which are by Bettino, an 
early artist of Kimini, and dated 1408 ; but Lord Lindsay praises them 
highly.* In the same church is the Martyrdom of the saint, over the 
high altar, by Paul Veronese. 

There are no less than twelve saints of this name ; but the two most 
famous are this St. Julian the Martyr, who is represented young, and 
with the palm and sword ; and St. Julian Hospitator, the patron saint 
of travellers, who is generally in the dress of a hermit, and accompanied 
by a stag. 

The martyrs who appear in the pictures of the Lombard school, 
though in some instances obscure, and confined to certsdn localities, are 
interesting from the beauty and value of the pictures in which they are 

I begin with those of Milan. 

St. Gervasius and St. Pbotasius, 

Ital SS. Gervasio e Protasio. Fr, St. Gcrvais et St. Protais. June 19. a.d. 69. 

The passion for relics (for I can call it by no other name) which pre- 
vailed from the third to the fourteenth century, had been introduced 
from the imaginative East ; and, as I have already observed, may be 

> V, Sketches of Christiaii Art 


accounted for on the most natural grounds. The remains of those who 
had perished nobly for an oppressed faith were first buried with reve- 
rential tears, and then guarded with reverential care. Periodical feasta 
were celebrated on their tombs — the love-feasts {agap<B) of the ancient 
Christians : subsequently, their remains were transferred to places of 
worship, and deposited under the table or altar from which the sacra- 
ment was distributed. Such places of worship were supposed, of course, 
to derive an especial sanctity, and thence an especial celebrity, from the 
possession of the relics of martyrs highly and universally honoured. I 
have not time to trace more in detail the growing influence of such 
impressions on the popular mind ; but to this particular aspect of reli- 
gious enthusiasm we owe some of the grandest remains of ancient Art, 
in architecture, sculpture, and painting. 

Already, in the fourth century, no sacred edifice was deemed com- 
plete, or could lay claim to the reverence of the people, unless it could 
boast the possession of some hallowed remains ; and as the offerings of 
the faithful were multiplied by their devotion, it became too much the 
interest of the priesthood to lend themselves to these pious impositions ; 
and even the churchmen of the highest rank for energy and intellect 
were either seized by the prevalent enthusiasm, or turned it to account 
for their own interests and purposes. 

When St Ambrose founded a new church at Milan (a.d. 387), the 
people besought him to consecrate it by some holy relics : these, how- 
ever, were not easily procured; at that time they had not become 
articles of barter or merchandise. St. Ambrose was most anxious to 
gratify his faithful people ; it was also an object of importance to inter- 
cept some of the pilgrims, who day by day passed by the city of Milan 
on their way to the shrines at Rome. The legend goes on to relate, 
that, ^* while possessed with these thoughts, St. Ambrose went to pray 
in the church of St. Nabor and St. Felix ; and as he knelt, a kind of 
trance, which was not exactly sleep, fell upon him. In a vision he 
beheld two young men, of incomparable beauty, clothed in white 
garments ; with them were St Peter and St Paul : and it was revealed 
to St Ambrose that these two young men were martyrs whose bodies 
lay near the spot where he knelt He then convoked his clergy, and 
commanded that search should be made, and the bodies of two men 


were discovered in the spot indicated. They were of gigantic size, 
their heads were found separated from the bodies, and a quantity of 
blood was in the tomb ; also a record or writing disclosing their names 
and fate. 

They were Gervasius and Protasius— twin brothers, who had suffered 
for the faith under the Emperor Nero. Having been sent bound to 
Milan, together with Nazarus and Celsus, they were brought before 
Count Artesius, who, sharing in the enmity of his master against the 
Christians, commanded them to sacrifice to his idols. On their refiisal, 
he condemned Gervasius to be beaten to death with scourges loaded 
with lead ; and ordered Protasius to be beheaded. A good man, whose 
name was Philip, carried home their bodies and buried them honour- 
ably in his own garden ; and they remained undiscovered until this 
wonderful revelation to St. Ambrose. On the second day after the 
discovery of the relics, they were borne in solemn procession to the 
Basilica. And as they passed along the streets, many of those who 
were sick or possessed by evil spirits threw themselves in the way, that 
they might touch the drapery with which the bodies were covered ; and 
immediately they were healed. Among these was a man named 
Severus, well known to all the city, who had been blind for many 
years, and was reduced to live upon the alms of the charitable : having 
obtained permission to touch the bones of these holy mai"tyrs, he was 
restored to sight ; which miracle, being performed before all the mul- 
titude who accompanied the procession, admitted of no doubt, and 
raised the popular enthusiasm to its height. St. Ambrose gave thanks 
to God for his mercy, and laid the bones of the martyrs beneath the 
altar, saying, ** Let the victims be borne in triumph to the place where 
Christ is the sacrifice : he upon the altar, who suffered for all ; they 
beneath the altar, who were redeemed by his suffering ! " The Arians, 
the enemies of Ambrose, did not only mock at this revelation, they even 
accused him of having bribed Severus and others to play a part in this 
religious drama ; but his authority carried every where conviction, and 
the church was dedicated under the names of the new saints Gervasius 
and Protasius. After the death of St. Ambrose, who was laid in the 
same spot, it took his name, and is now ^* Sant' Ambrogio Maggiore,** 
one of the most remarkable churches in Christendom. It does not 


appear that St. Gervasius and St. Protasius obtained great popularity 
either in Italy or Spain ; even at Milan they are less esteemed than 
several other saints. But it is otherwise in France. Some part of 
their relics having been carried thither by St. Germain^ bishop of Paris, 
in 560, their story at once seized upon the popular imagination ; under 
their French names St Gervais et St. Protais, they became the patron 
saints of five or six cathedrals, and of parish churches innumerable. 
The best pictures of these saints are to be met with in the French 
school. In the devotional effigies they usually stand together, Gervasius 
bearing a scourge with the thongs loaded with lead, as in the legend, 
and Protasius bearing the sword. Where one only is represented, it is 
St. Gervasius. 

At Venice, in the church of SS. Protasio-e-Gervasio, called by the 
people, after their peculiar manner of abbreviation, San Trovaso, there 
is a picture by Lazzarini, of the two saints in glory, carrying palms, not 
very good. 

The fine pictures relating to the history of these saints, executed when 
the convent of St. Gervais at Paris was at the height of its riches and 
popularity, are now dispersed; they were the chefs-d'ceuvre of the 
French school of the seventeenth century, when distinguished by such 
artists as Niccol6 Poussin, Le Sueur, and Champagne. 

1. St. Ambrose sees in a vision Gervasius and Protasius, who are 
presented to him by St. Paul. 2. St Ambrose, attended by his clergy, 
digs for the relics. Two designs by Le Sueur, to be executed in stained 
glass ; very fine and simple. Engraved in Landon, and in the Mus^e, 
but not now in the Louvre. 

3. St. Gervasius and Protasius, being brought before the statue of 
Jupiter, refuse to sacrifice : many figures, life-size, and more dramatic 
than is usual with Le Sueur ; the heads of the two young saints have a 
pale, meek, refined grace, most expressive of their vocation as Christians, 
and in contrast with the coarse forms, furious looks, and violent 
gestures of the pagan priests and soldiers around them. 

Far inferior are the pictures of Champagne, in the Louvre, also large 
life-size compositions, each about twenty feet in length. 

1. Protasius and Gervasius appear to St Ambrose, who is not asleep, 
but at prayer. 2. The relics of the saints conveyed in grand procession 



to the basilica of St. Ambrose (not to the cathedral, where they never 
reposed) : the martyred brothers lie extended on a bier, the faces seen 
as if newly dead; which is a deviation from the legend: the sick and 
possessed crowd to kiss the white drapery which lies over them^ covered 
with flowers. Among those who press forward is the blind man Severus ; 
St Ambrose and his clergy follow, singing hymns ; both pictures are 
scenic and theatrical, and the heads commonplace. Neither in this 
picture, nor in any others I have seen, are St. Gervasius and St. 
Protasius represented as giants, which, in strict adherence to the story, 
they ought to have been. 

According to the Ambrosian legend, St. Vitalis, the famous martyr 
and patron saint of Ravenna, was the father of St. Gervasius and Pro- 
tasius, served in the army of the Emperor Nero, and was one of the 
converts of St Peter. Seeing a Christian martyr led to death, whose 
courage appeared to be sinking, he exhorted him to endure bravely to 
the end, carried off his body, and buried it honourably ; for which crime, 
as it was then considered, he was first tortured, and then buried alive. 
His wife Valeria, and his two sons Gervasius and Protasius, fled to 
Milan. The church at Ravenna, dedicated to this saint in the reign of 
the Emperor Justinian, is one of the most remarkable monuments of 
Byzantine architecture in Italy. It was erected over the spot where he 
was buried alive, and dedicated by St. Eclesias about the year 547. 
The Greek mosaics in the vault of the tribune represent the Saviour 
seated on the globe of the universe : on his right hand St Vitalis offers 
his crown of martyrdom ; and on the left St Eclesias presents his 
church. Round the arch of the choir, are the heads of the Twelve 
Apostles, St Vitalis, St. Gervasius, and St Protasius, in medallions. 
For this church, Baroccio painted the Martyrdom of the patron saint 
now in the Brera at Milan. It is a crowded composition; the 
executioners thrust him down into the pit, and fling earth and stones 
upon him : and among the spectators are a mother and her two children, 
one of whom presents a cherry to a magpie. I have seen this incident 


praised as expressing the complete innocence and unconsciousness of the 
child ; but it interferes with the tragic solemnity of the scene, and is, 
to my taste, trivial and disagreeable. The celebrity of San Yitalis 
extended, with that of St Gervasius and St Protasius, all over Europe , 
there are churches dedicated to him not only in Italy, but in France and 

For the high altar of the church of San Vitale, at Venice, Carpaccio 
painted his masterpiece, — the sidnt, habited as a Koman soldier, 
mounted on a white charger, and bearing the Christian standard 
of victory. 

It was in the church of St. Nabob and St. Felix that Ambrose 
knelt when he was visited by " the revelation," as described above. 
St Nabor and St Felix were two Christians of whom nothing more is 
related than that they died for the faith in the reign of Diocletian. 
They were martyred in the city of Milan, buried by a Christian named 
Philip in his garden, and an oratory was built over their remains, which 
in the time of St Ambrose had become the church of SS. Nabor and 
Felix ; it is now San Francesco. The old mosaics in the chapel of San 
Satiro represent them in secular and classical costume ; but in a picture 
by Sammacchini (a Coronation of the Virgin with several saints), 
SS. Nabore and Felice stand in front in complete armour.' 

St. Nazarius and St. Celsus {Itah SS. Nazaro e Celso) are two 
Milanese martyrs of great celebrity in Art 

St. Nazarius was the son of a Jew named Africanus, but his mother 
Perpetua was a Christian, and caused her son to be baptized by 
St. Peter. Nazarius grew up under his mother's tuition a fervent 
Christian, and, accompanied by a young disciple named Celsus, he 
travelled through Cisalpine Gaul, preaching the Gospel and converting 
many. They came to Genoa, where the people, being obstinate pagans, 
laid hold of them and flung them into the sea ; but the sea refused to 
drown them ; and, after many wanderings, they came to Milan, where 
Gervasius and Protasius had testified to the truth, and Nazarius 

* Bologna GaL 


comforted and strengthened them. Some short time afterwards he and 
his youthful disciple Celsus suffered together, being beheaded outside 
the Porta Bomana at Milan. The beautiful antique church of San 
Nazaro Maggiore, at Milan, still stands a retord of their names and fate. 

Even more remarkable is that extraordinary monument of Byzantine 
Art, the church of SS. Nazaro-e-Celso at Ravenna, better known as 
the ^^ Mausoleum of Galla Placidia," built and dedicated by that empress 
about the year 447. Among the antique mosidcs with which the walls 
are covered I sought in vain for the tutelary saints. 

They are always represented together, St. Nazarus old, and St. 
Celsus as a youth and sometimes even as a boy. They bear the palm 
and the sword as martyrs, but are not otherwise distinguished ; there 
are effigies of them in the church of St. Nazaro at Milan, but probably 
not of very great merit, for I confess that I have no recollection of them, 
while Titian^s altar-piece in their church at Brescia cannot easily be 
forgotten. The central subject is the resurrection of Christ ; on the left 
wing is the portrait of the provost Averoldi, for whom the picture was 
painted, and who is recommended to the Divine favour by St. Nazarius 
and St. Celsus. St Nazarius is bearded ; St. Celsus, as a youth, stands 
in front, and both are in armour. On the right wing is a beautiful 
figure of St. Sebastian, drooping and half dead. The picture is a votive 
offering in commemoration of a pestilence. 

St. Lupo, Duke of Bergamo, his wife St. Adelaide, their daughter 
St. Grata, and St. Alexander, the Martyr, form a group of saints 
interesting only at Bergamo. The two last are patron siunts of 

the city. 

St. Grata, after the death of her husband, was converted to 
Christianity, and led a most chaste and holy life ; and when Alexander, 
one of the soldiers of the Theban legion, was decapitated outside the 
gate of Bergamo, she wrapped up the severed head in a napkin, and 
buried the sacred remains honourably. According to the Bergamesque 
chronicle, St. Grata converted her father and mother from the super- 
stition of the Pagans; and Duke Lupo, by her advice, founded the 


Cathedral at Bergamo. After the death of her parents, Grata governed 
the republic of Bergamo with singular prudence, ** ruling the people 
more by kindness than by fear, and more by example than by the 
terrors of the law ; " — and everywhere protecting and propagating 
Christianity. She built three churches, and founded an hospital for the 
poor and sick, in which die ministered to the sufferers with her own 
hands; and^ after governing the state in great prosperity for several 
years, she died, and her pure spirit ascended into heaven, there to receive 
the due reward of her righteousness. (a.d. 300.) 

In the pictures of Cariani, Salmeggia, and Lorenzo Lotto, all 
excellent painters of Bergamo, we find these saints constantly repre- 
sented. St Alexander is habited as a Roman warrior, bearing the 
palm ; St. Grata b usually carrying the head of St. Alexander, which 
is her proper attribute ; St. Lupo wears a royal crown, and St. Adelaide 
a crown and long veil : as in a picture by Salmeggia, now in the Brera 
at Milan. There is a fine statue of St. Lupo in a tabernacle above the 
porch of the Cathedral of Bergamo. 

In the church of Sant' Alessandro-in-Colonna, at Bergamo, I found 
two very poetical and dramatic pictures of the martyrdom of St. 
Alexander. In the first he is decapitated ; in the second, he is borne 
to the tomb by two Christian converts : St. Grata follows, canying the 
severed head reverently folded in a napkin : as the drops of blood fall to 
the earth, flowers spring forth, which are gathered by the maidens 
attending on St Grata. Here we have, in a novel form, the familiar 
and poetical allegory which represents flowers, or fountains of pure 
water, or branches of olive, springing from the blood of the martyr. 

St Adelaide of Bergamo must not be confounded with the German 
St Adelaide, wife of the Emperor Otho the Second. 

St. Julia, a noble virgin, martyred in Corsica about the third 
century, sometimes appears grouped with the Brescian saints as one of 
the patronesses of the city. Her relics were brought frojn Corsica to 
Brescia, and a beautiful church and convent were dedicated to her. 

An altar-piece by Andrea del Sarto, in the Berlin Gallery, represents 

M M 2 


— ■ ■ _ - - ^^ ^ ^ ^ T 

the throned Virgin and Child; on her right hand, St Peter, St. 
Benedict, and St Onofrio; on the left, St Paul, St Anthony with fire 
in his hand, and St Catherine ; in front, half length, St. Celsus in a 
rich secular costume, and St. Julia, young, beautiful, and richly dressed, 
holding her palm. I presume the picture to have been originally 
painted for the convent of Santa- Giulia, in Brescia. St Julia and St 
Afra are sometimes found together in the Brescian pictures. 

St. Panacea. I have only seen this saint in one picture painted by 
Gaudenzio Ferrari, in an altar-piece in San Giovanni at Yarallo : she 
was a poor girl of the Vallais, canonised for her chastity, her industry, 
and the perfect patience with which she suffered the injuries of a cruel 

The other patron saints of Brescia, San Faustino and San Giovita 
(Faustinus et Jovita), and St. Afra, appear in some beautiftd pictures 
of the Brescian school. 

At the time that St ApoUonius preached the Gospel at Brescia, 
Faustino and Giovita, two brothers, were converted to Christianity, and 
led a most holy and exemplary life, preaching to the people, ministering 
to the poor, and being zealous in all good works. They were seized by 
order of the Emperor Adrian, and thrown into the Amphitheatre ; but 
as the wild beasts refused to attack them, they were beheaded outaide 
the gates of Brescia, in the year 119 or 121. 

The Brescians honour, as their patroness, St. Afra, With regard to 
the identity of this saint, there is some inexplicable confusion, which 
leads us to suppose that there were two saints of this name. 

The Brescian St Afra, whose noble church is one of the chief orna- 
ments of the city, appears to have been a woman of patrician birth, who 
was converted by witnessing the good works of San Faustino and San 
Giovita; she also suffered a cruel martyrdom, together with a certain 
Calocerus. These saints appear in the pictures of the best Brescian 

* This is the local legend. I do not find her in any catalogoq of saints. 


painters, Moretto, Foppa, Romanino S Grambara, and Cossale ; and only 
in the churches of Brescia, where the group of the Bishop ApoUonius 
with Faustino and Giovita, sometimes with and sometimes without St. 
Afra, constantly recurs ; ApoUonius in the episcopal robes, and Faustino 
and Giovita sometimes habited as deacons* 

1. Bassano. In her church at Brescia, St Afra, and other converts 
baptized by St. ApoUonius : Faustino and Giovita administer the sacra« 
ment. A scene by torch-light^ ill composed, but very effective. 

2. Paul Veronese. Over her altar on the left side of the same church, 
is the martyrdom of St. Afra ; she is upon a high scaffold, attired in a 
rich dress of gold network, and looking up to heaven with a beautiful 
expression of resigned faith ; the headless bodies of Faustino and Giovita 
lie on the ground (one of the severed heads is the portrait of Paolo 
himself, and very fine), and St. ApoUonius is exhorting and comforting 
the martyr: one of the finest works of the painter for colour and 
dramatic expression. 

3. Grazio Cossale. During the siege of Brescia by Niccold Piccinino 
(a.d. 1439), Faustino and Giovita are seen defending the city, and 
hurHng back the cannon balls of the enemy. 

The other St. Afra, whom I will mention here to prevent confusion, 
is the patroness of Augsburg. ^^ She was a woman of that city who had 
for a long time foUowed the profession of courtesan ; and it happened 
that a certain holy man whose name was Narcissus, flying from the 
persecution which afflicted the Christians in the reign of Aurelian, took 
refuge in the house of Afra without knowing that she was abandoned to 
sin. When she found out that it was a Christian priest, she was over- 
come with fear and respect, and by a feeling of shame for a profession 
which it cost her, for the first time, an effort to avow. The good man 
took the opportunity to exhort her to repentance ; she listened to him 
weeping, and feU at his feet, entreating to be baptized ; he, knowing 
that Christ had never rejected a repentant sinner, administered to her 
baptism, and assured her of forgiveness. 

' In S. Maria-Caldrera at Brescia, is the masterpiece of G. Romanino, representing the 
Bishop Apollonins dispensing the holy sacrament to Faustino, Qiovita, Calocero, and Afra, 
who kneel before him. . - 


** And Afra had three handmaidens, who, like herself, had led a 
dissolute life. She brought them to the feet of the Christian priest, and 
begged that he would instruct them also in the way to salvation. Mean* 
time those who were in pursuit of the priest came to search for him in 
the dwelling of Afra ; but she concealed him, first in her own house, and 
then in that of her mother Hilaria; and, by her help, he afterwards 
escaped to his own country, which was Spain. 

" But the idolaters seized upon Afra, and accused her of having 
assisted in the escape of a Christian, and of being a Christian herself. 
The judge, whose name was Gains, and who had known her former 
profession, was astonished at the modesty and dignity with which she 
replied to his questions, and acknowledged herself to be a follower of 
Christ. * How ! ' said he, ^ do you, a woman of evil life, expect to be 
accepted by the God of the Christians?* To which Afra meekly 
replied, *It is true I am unworthy to bear the name of Christian; 
nevertheless. He who did not reject Mary Magdalene, when she washed 
his feet with her tears, will not reject me.* And, continuing constant 
in the faith, she was condemned to be burned alive ; so they tied her 
to a stake, and heaped round her a pile of vine-branches. Then she 
lifted up her eyes to heaven, and prayed, saying, * O Thou, who didst 
call, not the righteous, but the erring, to repentance, and who liast pro- 
mised that even at the eleventh hour Thou wouldst receive the sinner 
who called upon Thee, accept of my penitence, and let the torments I 
am about to suffer be received as an expiation of my sin, that through 
this temporal fire I may be delivered from the eternal fire which shall 
consume both body and soull' Having said these words, her spirit 
departed, and was carried by the angels into heaven ; and a few days 
afterwards her mother, Hilaria, and her three maidens, Digna, Eunomia, 
and Eutropia, also perished for the faith with a like constancy." 
(August 5. A.D. 307.) 

This St. Afra appears only in the German pictures of the Suabian 
schooL Behind the choir of the Cathedral at Augsbui^, there is a large 
altar-piece by Christoph Amberger, in which the painter has repre- 
sented in the centre the Madonna and Child ; on the left wing, the 
Bishop-patron of Augsburg, St Ulrich ; on the right, the martyrdom 
of St Afra. In the predella beneath, five half-length figures : — St, 


Hilaria in the centre, and on each side St. Eunomia, St. Eutropia, St. 
Digna, and the holy man, St. Narcissus. I saw this picture in 1855. It 
has a peculiar mixture of German and Italian feeling ; is correctly drawn, 
and full of refined sentiment in the expression, particularly in the St. 
Hilaria. Over the high altar in the same church, the same saints are 
represented in coloured sculpture, modem, but in an admirable style. 

When a bishop is seen in company with the German St. Afra, it is 
St. Ulrich, bishop of Augsburg in 973 ; while the companion of the 
Brescian St. Afira is St. ApoUonius, bishop of Breccia in 300. 

St. Christina and St. Justina. 

These are two famous Virgin Martyrs who figure in the churches all 
over the north of Italy, both being patronesses of the Venetian States. 
There is, however, this difference ; that while the fame of St. Justina 
of Padua is confined to Italy, and her eflSgy to Italian Art, St. 
Christina is venerated in France, Sicily, and Bohemia. 

St. Christina. 

Ital Santft Cristina. Fr. Sainte Christine. Patroness of Bolsena, and one of the patronesses 

of the Venetian States. July 24. jlb. 295. 

The legend of this saint is one of those which have been rejected by 
the Boman Catholic Church. The little town of Tiro, on the borders 
of Lake Bolsena, which, according to tradition, was her birth-place, has 
since been swallowed up by the waters of the lake, and no trace of it 
remains. She is celebrated, however, all over Northern and Central 
Italy ; and is the subject of some beautiful pictures of the Venetian 

Her legend, as given in the Perfetto Legendarioy represents her as the 
daughter of Urbanus, a Boman patrician, and governor of the city. He 
was an idolater, but his daughter, who had been early converted to the 


faith of Christ, called herself therefore Christina. " One day, as she 
stood at her window, she saw many poor and sick, who begged alms, 
and she had nothing to give them. But suddenly she remembered that 
her father had many idols of gold and silver ; and, being filled with the 
holy zeal of piety and charity, she took these false gods and broke 
them in pieces, and divided them amongst the poor. Strange it was to 
see one carrying away the head of Jove, and another the hand of 
Venus, and a third the lyre of Apollo, and a fourth the trident of 
Neptune. • But, alas I when her father returned, and beheld what had 
been done, what words could express his rage and fury I He ordered 
his servants to seize her and to beat her with rods, and throw her into 
a dark dungeon ; but the angels of heaven visited and comforted her, 
and healed her wounds. Then her father, seeing that torments did not 
prevail, ordered them to tie a millstone round her neck, and throw her 
into the lake of Bolsena : but the angels still watched over her ; they 
sustained the stone, so that she did not sink, but floated on the surface 
of the lake ; and the Lord, who beheld from heaven all that this 
glorious virgin suffered for his sake, sent an angel to clothe her in a 
white garment, and to conduct her safe to land. Then her &ther, 
utterly astonished, struck his forehead and exclaimed, ^ What meaneth 
this witchcraft?* And he ordered that they should light a fiery 
furnace and throw her in ; but she remained there five days unharmed, 
singing the praises of God. Then he ordered that her head should be 
ehave(^ and that she should be dragged to the temple, of Apollo to 
sacrifice ; but no sooner had she locked upon the idol, than it fell down 
before her. When her father saw this, his terror was so great that he 
gave up the ghost. 

** But the patrician Julian, who succeeded him as governor, was not 
less barbarous, for, hearing that Christina in her prison sang perpetually 
the praises of God, he ordered her tongue to be cut out, but — oh 
miracle 1 she only sang more sweetly than ever, and uttered her 
thanksgivings aloud, to the wonder of all who heard her. Then he 
shut her up in a dungeon with serpents and venomous reptiles ; but 
they became in her presence harmless as doves. So, being weU nigh in 
despair, this perverse pagan caused her to be bound to a post, and 
ordered his soldiers to shoot her with arrows till she died. Thus she at 


length received the hardly-earned crown of martyrdom ; and the angels, 
full of joy and wonder at such invincible fortitude, bore her pure spirit 
into heaven." 

In the island of Bisentina, in the lake of Bolsena, is a small church 
dedicated to her, and painted it is said by the Caracci ; but few, I 
believe, have visited it. The superb Cathedral of Bolsena is also conse- 
crated in her name. 

In devotional pictures, the proper attribute of St Christina is the 
millstone. She has also the arrow or arrows in her hand, and bears, of 
course, the crown and palm as martyr. When she bears the arrow 
only, it is not easy to distinguish her from St. Ursula ; but in early 
Italian Art, a female saint bearing the arrow, and not distinguished by 
any of the royal attributes, is certainly St Christina. Pictures of her 
are common in all the cities of Northern and Central Italy, but more 
especially at Bolsena, Venice, and Treviso. We find her frequently 
grouped with the other patrons of this part of Italy ; for example, with 
St Barbara of Ferrara, with St Catherine of Venice, with St Justina 
of Padua, &c. 

I shall give a few examples. 

1. St Christina, as patron saint, stands, crowned and bearing her 
palm, between SS. Peter and Paul. In a beautiful picture by D. 

2. Johan Schoreel. She stands as martyr, one hand on a millstone, 
the other bearing a palm ; her dress is that of a lady in the time of 
Henry VIII. ^ I give a sketch from this picture, to show the portrait- 
like manner in which the saints were often treated in the old German 
school (162) 

3. Vincenzio Catena. St Christina kneeling on the surface of Lake 
Bolsena: angels sustain the millstone, which is fastened round her neck 
by a long rope; in the skies above, our Saviour appears with his 
banner, as victor over sin and death, and gives to an angel a white 
shining garment in which to clothe the martyr. This is a variation 
from the commonplace angel with the crown and palm ; and the whole 
picture is as pure and charming in sentiment as it is sweet and 
harmonious in colour.^ 

' Venice, Abbazia. * Venice, S. Maria- Mater-Domini 



4. Lorenzo di Credi. St. ChrUtina kneeling and holding the arrow, 
grouped with St. Nicholae of Ban, St. Julian of Rimini, and St. 
Barbara of Ferrara. Above is the Coronation of the Virgin,' 

St. Christina is sometimes represented with a sword in her hosom, as 
in an altar-piece by Bissolo at Treviso, and another by Palina : it is 
then difficult to distinguish her from St. Justina.* In an ancient picture 

' It wsJ in the collection of Hr. Rogers. Wlieo I firat remember this picture it used to 
hnngin iiis bedroom out of sight of visitors, and I Q>cd often to go up to look at it— "No one 
else," be said, " cared about it." Or late jean it was brought down, cova^d with plaM glass, 
and hung in his drawing-room — admired by all, 

' Perhaps, in tliew and similar instanren. Ihe figures are miscalled, and do rcallj reprcsriil 
St. Jnstina. 

ST. JU8TINA. 669 

by Jacopo Avanzi^ in the Bologna Gulleiy, she is bound to a tree, and 
two executioners shoot her with arrows, in presence of the prefect 

Paul Veronese painted the whole history of St Christina in a series 
of ten pictures^ which exbted formerly in the church of Sant' Antonio 
in the island of Torcello at Venice^ I saw six of these in the Academy 
at Venice, the others apparently are dispersed or lost. 1. St Christina 
is baptized. 2. She refuses to adore the statue of Apollo. 3. She 
breaks the gold and silver idols, and gives them to the poor. 4. She is 
scourged. 6. She is comforted by angels, who bring to her fruits and 
flowers in her dungeon. 6. She is in a boat on Lake Bolsena ; two 
men prepare to throw her overboard with a millstone round her neck, 
while her father is seen giving his orders from the shore. 

St. Justina of Padua, Virgin and Martyr. 

LaL Justina Patavina Urbis Frotectrix. ItaL Santa Giostina di Padova. Fr. Sainte 
Jostine de Padoue. Patron saint of Padua and of Venice. October 7. aj). 303. 

This saint, famous in the Paduan and Venetian territories, was, 
according to the legend, a virgin of royal birth, who dwelt in the city of 
Padna. King Vitalicino, her father, having been baptized by St 
Prodocimo (Prosdocimus), a disciple of the Apostle Peter, brought up 
his daughter in the true faith. After the death of her father, Justina 
being accused before the Emperor Maximian as a Christian, he 
commanded that she should be slain by the sword ; and she, opening 
her arms to receive the stroke of the executioner, was pierced through 
the bosom, and fell dead.. 

In the year 453, Opilio, a citizen of Padua, founded in her honour 
the magnificent church which bears her name: and as early as the sixth 
century we find her almost as celebrated in the West,, as her namesake, 
the illustrious virgin and martyr of Antioch, was in the East Her 
church at Padua, having fallen into ruin, was sumptuously restored by 
the Benedictine Order in the beginning of the sixteenth century. The 
collections made for this purpose throughout the north of Italy 

N N 2 


awakened the enthusiasm of the neighbouring states, and it is from this 
time that we find Justina represented in the pictures of the Padnan 
and Venetian schools, and most frequently in the pictures of Paul 
Veronese. In the single figures she is richly dressed, wearing the 
crown and bearing her palm, as princess and as martyr, and in general 
with the sword transfixing her bosom, which is her proper attribute. 
She is thus represented in a beautiful figure by Vittore Carpaccio * ; 
and in the fresco by Luini in San Maurizio, at Milan, where she is 
called by some mistake St. Ursula. In the Venetian altar-pieces St 
Justina is often placed on one side of the Madonna, accompanied either 
by St Mark or St Catherine. As patroness of Venice, we find her 
interceding in heaven for the Venetians, as in a picture in the Arsenal 
at Venice : in another, we have St Justina and St* Mark presenting 
Venice (under the form of a beautiful woman, crowned and sump- 
tuously attired) to the Virgin ; the naval battle of Carolari is seen 
below : a grand, scenic, votive picture, painted for the State by Paul 

In the* magnificent church of Santa Giustina at Padua, the altar- 
piece by Paul Veronese represents the scene of her martyrdom : amid 
a crowd of people, the executioner plunges a sword into her bosom; 
Christ, with the Virgin, St John, and a numerous company of saints 
and angels, receives her into glory above. This, to my taste, is a 
heavy, crowded picture ; the fine envraving by Agostino Caracci has 
given it more celebrity than it deserves. In the same church, in the 
centre of the choir, stands a chest or shrine, on which is sculptured the 
history of the life of Santa Giustina in five compartments. 1* She is 
baptized by St Prodocimo. 2. The baptism of her parents. 3. She is 
seized by the emissaries of Maximian, and draped out of her chariot 
4. She is martyred by the sword. 5. She is borne to the grave by 
St. Prodocimo and others. 

In some Venetian pictures the attribute of the unicorn, which 
belongs properly to St. Justina of Antioch, has been given to St 
Justina of Padua; and when this is this case it is not easy to 

* Milan, Brora. ' Venice, Ducal Pal 


determine whether the mistake arose from ignorance or design. In 
Domenichino's picture of St Justina caressing a unicorn in a forest, it 
is, I imagine, St. Justina of Antioch who is represented.^ In Moretto's 
splendid picture of the Duke Alfonso I. at the feet of St* Justina \ I 
should suppose that the artist had the patroness of Padua and Venice, 
and not the martyr of Antioch in his mind ; — or perhaps confounded 
the two. Neither must it be forgotten that a beautiful female attended 
by a imicom i» sometimes merely allegorical, representing Chastity ; 
but when the palm and sword are added, it is undoubtedly a St. 
Justina ; and if the picture be by a Venetian artist ; if the figures be 
in the Venetian costume; if Venice be seen in the distance; or 
St Mark introduced, — then it is probably St Justina of Padua; 
otherwise, when a female saint appears alone, or in a company of 
martyrs, attended by a imicom, it is St Justina of Antioch. 

St Justina figures on the Venetian coins struck by the Doges 
Leonardo Donato and Pasquale Cicogna. 

The last of these Italian martyrs who appears worthy of record, as a 
subject of painting, is one of very recent celebrity, and, perhaps, the 
most apocryphal saint in the whole calendar, — which is saying much. 

St. Filomena. 

Lat Sancta Fhilrnnena. Fr, Sainte Philomdne. Aug. 10. 303. 

In the year 1802, while some excavations were going forward in the 
catacomb of Priscilla at Some, a sepulchre was discovered containing 
the skeleton of a young female ; on the exterior were rudely painted 
some of the symbols constantly recurring in these chambers of the 
dead : an anchor, an olive branch (emblems of Hope and Peace), a 

» Or the allegory of Chastity. * Vienna Gal. v, p. 577. 


scourge, two arrows, and a javelin : above them the following inscrip- 
tion, of which the beginning and end were destroyed : — 


The remains, reasonably supposed to be those of one of the early 
martyrs for the faith, were sealed up and deposited in the treasury of 
relics in the Lateran ; here they remained for some years unthought of. 
On the return of Pius VII. from France, a Neapolitan prelate was 
sent to congratulate him. One of the priests in his train, who wished to 
create a sensation in his district, where the long residence of the French 
had probably caused some decay of piety, begged for a few relics to 
carry home, and these recently discovered remains were bestowed on 
him ; the inscription was translated somewhat freely, to signfy Santa 
Philumena, rest in peace. Amen. Another priest, whose name is 
suppressed because of his yreat humility ^ was favoured by a vision in the 
broad noon-day, in which he beheld the glorious virgin Filomena, who 
was pleased to reveal to him that she had suffered death for preferring 
the Christian faith and her vow of chastity to the addresses of the 
emperor, who wished to make her his wife. This vision leaving much 
of her history obscure, a certain young artist, whose name is also 
suppressed, perhaps because of his great humility, was informed in a 
vision that the emperor alluded to was Diocletian, and at the same 
time the torments and persecutions suffered by the Christian virgin 
Filomena, as well as her wonderful constancy, were also revealed to him. 
There were some difficulties in the way of the Emperor Diocletian, 
which incline the writer of the historical account to incline to the opinion 
that the young artist in bis vision may have made a mistake, and that 
the emperor may have been not. Diocletian but Maximian. The facts, 
however, now admitted of no doubt : the relics were carried by the priest 
Francesco da Lucia to Naples ; they were enclosed in a case of wood 
resembling in form the human body ; this figure was habited in a petti- 
coat of white satin, and over it a crimson tunic after the Greek fashion ; 
the face was painted to represent nature, a garland of flowers was 
placed on the head, and in the hands a lily and a javelin with the point 
reversed to express her purity and her martyrdom ; then she was laid 
in a half-sitting posture in a sarcophagus, of which the sides were glass ; 

8T. FILOMBNA. 073 

and, after lying for some time in state in the chapel of the Torres family 
in the church of Sant' Angiolo, she was carried in grand procession to 
Mugnano^ a little town about twenty miles from Naples^ amid the 
acclamations of the people, working many and surprising miracles by 
the way. 

Such is the legend of St. Filomena, and such the authority on which 
she has become within the last twenty years one of the most popular 
saints in Italy. Jewels to the value of many thousand crowns have 
been offered at her shrine, and solemnly placed round the neck of her 
image or suspended to her girdle. I found her eflSgy in the Venetian 
churches, and in those of Bologna and Lombardy. Her worship has 
extended to enlightened Tuscany. At Pisa the church of San Francesco 
contains a chapel dedicated lately to Santa Filomena ; over the altar is 
a picture by Sabatelli representing the saint as a beautiful nymph-like 
figure floating down from heaven, attended by two angels bearing the 
lily, palm, and javelin, and beneath in the foreground the sick and 
maimed who are healed by her intercession; round the chapel are 
suspended hundreds of votive offerings, displaying the power and the 
popularity of the saint There is also a graceful German print after 
Fiihrich, representing her in the same attitude in which the image lies 
in the shrine. I did not expect to encounter St Filomena at Paris ; 
but, to my surprise, I found a chapel dedicated to her in the church of 
St* Gervais ; a statue of her with the flowers, the dart, the scourge, and 
the anchor under her feet ; and two pictures, one surrounded, after the 
antique fashion, with scenes from her life. In the church of Saint* 
Merry, at Paris, there is a chapel recently dedicated to ** Ste 
PhilomSne;" the walls covered with a series of frescoes from her 
legend, painted by Amaury Duval; — a very fair imitation of the old 
Italian style. 

I have heard that St Filomena is patronised by the Jesuits; even so, 
it is difficult to account for the extension and popularity of her story in 
this nineteenth century. 


St. Omobuono, the protector of Cremona, and patron swnt of 
tailors, waa neither a martyr, nor a monk, nor even a hermit ; but aa 
effigies of him are confined entirely to pictures of the Cremonese and 
Venetian schools, I shall place him here to make my chapter of these 
local Italian saints complete. He is regarded all over the north of 
Italy as the patron and example of good citizens, and is the subject of 
some beautiful pictures. 

According to the legend, Omobuono was a merchant of Cremona, 
who had received from his father but little school learning, yet, from the 
moment he entered on the management of his own affiiirs, a wisdom 
more than human seemed to inspire every action of his life ; diligent 
and thrifty, his stores increased daily, and, with his possessions, his 
almost boundless charity ; nor did his charity consist merely in giving 
his money in alms, nor in founding hospitals, but in the devotion of his 
whole heart towards relieving the sorrows as well as the necessities of 
the poor, and in exhorting and converting to repentance those who had 
been led into evil courses : neither did this good saint think it necessary 
to lead a life of celibacy ; he was married to a prudent and virtuous 
wife, who was sometimes uneasy lest her husband's excessive bounty to 
the poor should bring her children to beggary ; but it was far otherwise : 
Omobuono increased daily in riches and prosperity, so that the people 
of the city believed that his stores were miraculously multiplied. It is 
related of him, that being on a journey with his family, and meeting 
some poor pilgrims who were ready to faint by the wayside with hunger 
and thirst, he gave them freely all the bread and wine he had provided 
for his own necessities, and going afterwards to fill his empty wine- 
flasks from a running stream, the water when poured out proved to be 
most excellent wine, and his wallet was found full of wheaten bread, 
supplied by the angels in lieu of that which he had given away. 

As the life of Omobuono had been in all respects most blessed, so was 
his death ; for one morning, being at his early devotions in the church 
of St Egidio, and kneeling before a crucifix, just as the choir were 
singing the *' Gloria in excelsis^^ he stretched out his arms in the form 
of a cross, and in this attitude expired. He was canonised by Pope 
Innocent III. on the earnest petition of his fellow citizens. 

Figures of this amiable citizen-saint occur in the pictures of Giulio 


Campi, Malosso, Andrea Mainardi, Borroni, and other painters of 
Cremona. He is generally habited in a loose tunic trimmed with fur, 
and cap also trimmed with fiir, and is in the act of distributing food 
and alms to the poor ; sometimes wine-flasks stand near him, in allusion 
to the famous miracle in his legend. In a fine enthroned Madonna by 
Bartolomeo Montagna^ Omobuono stands in an attitude of compas- 
sionate thoughtfxilness, with a poor beggar at his feet,* In the church of 
St. Egidio-ed-Omobuono at Cremona, I found a series of pictures from 
his life. 1. He fills his empty flasks at the stream, and finds them full 
of wine. 2. The bread which he distributes to the poor is miraculously 
multiplied in his hands. 3. He clothes the ragged and naked poor. 
4. He expires before the crucifix, sustained by angels. In the cupola 
of the same church he is seen carried into paradise by a troop of rejoicing 
spirits. These were painted by Borroni in 1684. 

I have met with very few among the French and Spanish martyrs 
who have aUained to any general importance as subjects of Art. The 
most interesting of the Spanish saints are those of the monastic orders, 
and they will be found in their proper place among the monastic legends. 
St Vincent, whose fame has become universal, is the most distinguished 
of the Spanish early martyrs.* There are some others almost peculiar 
to Spanish Art, who, from the beauty of the representations by Murillo 
and Zurbaran, are interesting to a lover and hunter of pictures ; but as 
very few, even of the best, of these are known through engravings, and 
as my own acquaintance with Spanish Art is limited, I shall confine 
myself to those most popular. 

* Berlin GaL See also ** Legends of the Madonna,** p. 99. * v. p. 549. 

VOL. ir. oo 


Sr, JusTA AND St. Rupina, Patronesses of Seville. 

ISih Jul;, A.n. 301. 

These were two ChriutiaD sisters dwelling in that city. They were 
the daughters of a potter, and made a living hy selling earthenware ; 
and contenting themselves with the bare necessaries of life, they gave 
all the rest to the poor. Certain women who lived near tliem, and who 
were worshippers of the goddess Venus, came to their shop to buy 
vessels for their idolatrous sacrifice. The two sisters answered that 
they had no vessels for such a purpose ; that their ware should be used 
for the service of God, and not in the worship of stocks and stones. 


Upon this the pagan women broke all the earthenware in their shop. 
Jasta and Bufina retaliated by falling upon the image of Venus, which 
they broke to pieces and flung into the kennel The populace imme- 
diately collected before their door, seized them, and carried them before 
the prefect. On being accused of sacrilege, they boldly avowed them- 
selves to be Christians; and being condemned to the torture, Justa 
expired on the rack, and Bufina was strangled. Thb came to pass in 
the year 304. 

The two sisters are represented as Spanish giris, bearing the palm as 
martyrs, and holding in their hands earthenware pots. Pictures of them 
are entirely confined to the Seville schooL They are generaUy repre- 
sented with the Giralda (which is supposed to be under their especial 
care and patronage) between them. According to Mr. Ford *, their 
great miracle was the preservation of this beautiful and far-famed tower 
in a thunder-storm, in 1504. When Espartero bombarded Seville in 
1843, the people still believed that the Giralda was encompassed by in- 
visible angels l6d by Rufina and Justa, who turned aside every bomb. 

Murillo has frequently painted them. The Duke of Sutherland has 
two beautiful half-length figures of these two saints, holding each their 
palms and alcarrazas (earthenware pots). In the Spanish gallery of the 
Louvre, there are several representations of them by Zurbaran and 
others. Zurbaran represents them richly dressed; but Murillo has 
generally painted them as muchachas^ Spanish girls of the lower class. 

There was a magnificent sketch by Murillo in the Aguado Gallery, 
representing the Virgin in glory ; and, kneeling in adoration before her, 
St. Kufina and St Justa with their alcarrazas at their feet, accompanied 
by St. Francis and St. John the Baptist : painted, I presume, for the 
Capuchins of Seville. (163) 

St. Eulalia op Merida (Dec 10.) was a Spanish martjrr whose 
story is related in one of the hynms of Prudentius* He tells us that at 
the time the terrible edict of Diocletian was published, Eulalia, who was 
only twelve years old, escaped from her mother's house, and confronted 
the tyrant prefect, who was sitting in judgment on the Christians, and 

* V, Handbook of Spain, p. 249. 
o o 2 


reproached him with his cruelty and impiety. The governor, astonished 
at her audacity, commanded her to be seized, and placed on one side of 
her the instruments of torture prepared for the disobedient, and on the 
other the salt and frankincense which they were about to offer to their 
idol. Eulalia immediately flung down the idol, and trampled the 
offering under her feet, and spit in the face of the judge, — an action 
which, as Butler observes, ** could only be excused by her extreme 
youth." She was immediately put to death in the midst of tortures, and 
at the moment she expired a white dove issued from her mouth (the 
usual allegory of the soul or spirit), and winged its way towards heaven. 
She is renowned in Spain, and I believe only to be met with in the 
Spanish churches and works of art Mr. Ford, in his Handbook, 
warns ^Mgnorant infidels" against confounding this St. Eulalia with 
another St. Eulalia of Barcelona, whose story is so similar that the 
difficulty would consist, it should seem, in proving any distinction 
between them. It is true there are two different bodies, one lying at 
Merida and the other at Barcelona ; but this might have been arranged 
by a miracle. One of these two saints must have been early and widely 
celebrated, for we find a St. Eulalia in the grand procession of Virgin 
Martyrs at Ravenna.* 

St. Leocadia (April 26.), the renowned patroness of Toledo, was 
a native of that city, and in the persecution of Diocletian she was seized 
by the cruel governor and thrown into a deep dark dungeon. After 
being kept there for some time in daily expectation of death, she heard 
in her prison of the martyrdom of her friend St. Eulalia, and earnestly 
prayed to be united with her by a glorious death. Her prayer was 
granted ; for she expired in prison, and her relics have ever since been 
preserved in that city, where three of the grandest churches in Spain, 
dedicated to her honour, show the reverence in which she was held. 
But according to another legend she was cast down from the rocks by 
an order of Dacian. A chapel was built on the spot where she fell, and 
there, as it is related, angels appeared and removed the stone fix>m her 
sepulchre, when she arose clad in a mantilla, and revealed to St. Ilde- 

* t\ p. 525. 


foDso^ who had written a treatise in honour of the Virgin, the ap- 
probation with which his work was regarded in heaven. Before she 
had time to disappear, St Ddefonso cut off a part of her veil, which 
was preserved amongst the treasures of the church. 

St. Leocadia is represented oply in Spanish works of art. At 
Toledo, in the magnificent church dedicated to her, there is a series of 
pictures from her life by F. Ricci ; and in the hospital of Santa Cruz, 
is a picture which represents her rising from the tomb to speak to St. 
ndefonso. There is a statue of this saint over the gate of Toledo 
(Puerta del Cambron), executed by Berruguete, which Mr. Ford 
describes as " Florentine in style, tender and beautiful in form, and 
sweet, gentle, and serious in expression." 

St. Crispin and St. Crispianus. 

Ital, San Crispino e San Crispiano. Fr. SS. Crespin et Crespinien. Patron saints of 
Soissons. October 25. a.d. 287, according to Baillet ; and according to the Roman legend, 
A.D. 300. 

T^E two holy brothers, Crispin and Crispianus, departed from Rome 
with St Denis to preach the Gospel in France ; and, not willing to be 
a burthen up^n others, they, after the example of St. Paul, laboured 
with their hands, being by trade shoemakers, " which is a very honest 
and peaceable caUing." And these good sidnts made shoes for the poor 
without fee or reward (for which the angels supplied them with leather), 
until, denounced as Christians, they suffered martyrdom at Soissons, 
being, after many tortures, beheaded by the sword. 

The devotional figures, which are common in old French prints, 
represent these saints standing together, holding the palm in one hand, 
and in the other the awl or the shoemaker's knife. They are very often 
met with in the old stained glass, working at their trade, or making 
shoes for the poor, — the usual subjects in the shoemakers' guilds all 
over France and Germany. Italian pictures of these saints are rare. 
There is, however, one by Guido which represents the throned 
Madonna, and St. Crispin presenting to her his brother St. Crispianus, 


while angels from above scatter flowers on the group.' Looking 
over the old Freoch prints of St. Crespin and St. Crespinien, which are 
in general either grotesque or commonplace, I met with one not easily 
to he forgotten ; it represents these two famous smntB proceeding on 
their miseion to preach the Gospel in France : they are careering over 
the sea in a bark drawn by sea-horses and attended by tritons, and are 
attired in the full court-dress of the time of Louis XV., with laced 
coats, cocked hate, and rapiers. 

These French sajnta were very popular in England as protectors of 
the guild of shoemakers ; and are retained, not without reason, in our 
reformed calendar, the day on which they are celebrated being famous 
in English history and English poetry. The readers of Shakspeare 
will remember it as the anniversary of the battle of Agincourt : 

" And Crispin Crispiui iball ne'ei go bjr. 
From this day to the ending of the world, 
But we ia it shall be remember'd." 

It appears to have been celebrated as a holyday all over England; to 
which Westmoreland alludes — 

"Oh that we sow had here 
But one ten thousand of thote men in Eogland 
Who do no work to-day 1" 



Wbt Carl? Sis(I)ops(. 

The early Bbhops of the Church — those who lived in the first five or 
six centuries^ and did not belong to any of the regular monastic orders 
— form, in their relation to Art, a very interesting and picturesque 
group of saints. Their importance, general or local, in the propagation 
of Christianity, renders them indispensable in ecclesiastical decoration ; 
and whether they stand alone, or in a sacra conversazione, as the 
pastors and founders of their respective churches, blessing from their 
tabernacle above the porch, or shining from the storied window, or pre- 
senting the votary at the altar, or interceding for their flock at the feet 
of the Virgin and Child, their mild majestic air, venerable beards, and 
splendid sacerdotal robes, render them extremely effective and orna- 
mental as subjects of Art : to the educated eye and reflecting mind, 
they have, however, a far deeper value and interest. 

In general, we find that the first Christian missionary who preached 
the Gospel in any city or locality, and gathered a Christian conmiunity 
around him, was regarded as the founder and first bishop of that 
church ; subsequently, he came to be venerated by the inhabitants as 
their celestial protector and intercessor, as continuing in heaven that 
care and superintendence he had exercised on earth. Though removed 
from his place among them, he was still their bishop, they were still his 
flock: his effigy stood conspicuously in their churches, and still 
extended the hand in benediction over them. 

In the days of the free republics of Italy, their coinage bore, instead 
of the head of a potentate or tyrant, that of their tutelary saint; in 
most cases, the bishop who had been the first to bring to them the glad 
tidings of salvation, or who had shed his blood, either in testimony to 
his faith, or in defence of his flock. Thus, on the coins of Arezzo, we 
find the effigy of St. Donatus; on those t)f Bologna, St. Petronius; on 
those of Ferrara, St Maurelius ; on those of Naples, St. Januarius. In 
the fourteenth century, all the coinage of Italy was solemnly placed 


under the protection of the guardian saints. On the coins of Milan we 
have on one side St- Ambrose, on the reverse St. Gervasius and St. 
Protaslus : on those of Florence, St John the Baptist, and St. Cosmo 
and St Damian. Perhaps it was some association with the sanctity of 
the image impressed on it which made the counterfeiting of money a 
sort of sacrilege, and induced Dante to place a coiner in one of the 
lowest circles of hell.^ 

The representations of these primitive bishops have an especial 
interest and propriety, I might almost say a sanctity, when contem- 
plated within the walls of the church consecrated to their honour in a 
spirit of grateful veneration. We may conceive this sort of interest by 
imagining how we should feel, if, within the walls of Westminster 
Abbey, we were shown the figure, however idealised, of him who first 
brought the tidings of the Gospel to this island. Is there any one who 
could turn away from it with indiflPerence or inattention ? — who would 
not feel it to be more in harmony with the place then General Monk 
or Sir Cloudesley Shovel ? 

It is not, however, the less true that with some of these mediaeval 
bishops the impression of the sacred and the venerable is somewhat 
spoiled by the legendary attributes which accompany them. It is not 
pleasant to see a bishop walking without his head, like St Denis, or 
flourishing a scourge, like St Ambrose ; but even such representations, 
however grotesque they may appear, strike us in quite another point of 
view when we consider the meaning of these attributes and their 
relation to history, to the character of the individual, and the manners 
and morals of the age in which he lived. 

In former times the Christianity of a city or district was, like a patent 
of nobility, the more honourable for its antiquity. A community traced 
back its Christianity as a noble traced back his genealogy, as far as it 
was possible. The object was to prove that one of the apostles, or at 
least some immediate delegate or disciple of Peter or Paul, had been 
the first to gather them within the pale of salvation. Each, too, jealous 
for the dignity of the local patron, multiplied and boasted of his 
miracles ; and if St Petronius performed a wonder at Bologna, it was 

* Inferno, c. xxx. 


immediately emulated by St Gaudenzio at Rimini^ or St. Maurelius at 
Ferrara. Hence the uncertainty which has been studiously thrown 
round the origin of the early churches; and hence the amount of 
legendary inventions with which the people surrounded the memory of 
their founders, till the simplicity and credibility of the old tradition 
were wholly lost- Hence, too, the perpetual repetition of the same 
extravagant stories, only varying the names of the actors ; so that, when 
these venerable personages appear in Art, it becomes, from the moment 
they are removed from the locality for which they were painted, very 
difficult — often impossible — to discriminate them aright, they are so 
much alike in appearance and habiliments, and the same stories and 
attributes are so constantly repeated. 

A bishop is immediately recognised by his dress ; and here the grand 
distinction is between the Greek and the Latin bishops. The primitive 
Greek bishops wear the alba or surplice, always white, and over that 
the white planeta or chasuble embroidered with purple crosses. Their 
croffler, where they have one, is a staff surmounted by a cross, and they 
wear no mitre. The later artists frequently commit the error of giving 
to the Greek bishops the Latin mitre, and to the Latin bishoi)8 the 
Greek crosier. The etching of the Greek Fathers will give a 
correct idea of the Greek episcopal costume. St« Chrysostom, in the 
centre, wears the dalmatica only ; the others wear the planeta, which 
was a mantle made of a wide circular piece of cloth with an aperture in 
the middle for the head to pass through, and no sleeves, so that, when 
the arms were raised, it was necessarily gathered up in graceful folds on 
each side. 

In Western Art the vestments given to the bishops, merely as dis- 
tinctive of the episcopal rank, were not those proper to the age in which 
they lived, but those of the time in which the picture was painted. The 
difference, however, was only in the cut of the garb, the garb itself was 
the same. They wear, first, the white tunic (alba) fastened round the 
waist with a girdle, and which has a wide lace border falling to the feet, 
and seen beneath the upper vestments. Over this is thrown, in the 
manner of a scarf, the stole^ a long narrow piece of cloth richly em- 
broidered with crosses ; the two ends, fringed, are crossed upon the 

VOL. II. p p 


breast Jind liang down on each side, and often appear below the chasuble 
(or planeta)y which is the proper eucharistic robe. The planeta was at 
first, as I have described it above, only a circular piece of cloth with an 
aperture in the middle, but for the sake of convenience it was cut 
shorter and shorter on each side, till it hung only before and behind, the 
back part being embroidered with a large cross. The pallium, the 
insignia of dignity worn over the planeta only by archbishops and 
patriarchs, resembles the stole : it is a white woollen band about three 
fingers in breadth passed round the shoulders, and from which depend 
three short bands embroidered with crosses ; two hang behind, and one 
towards the right shoulder hangs in front Over the whole is thrown 
the cope or pluviale (literally, rain-cloak), because first adopted merely 
as a covering from the weather, in the processions from one church to 
another. Subsequently it became a part of the episcopal costume, 
falling over the whole person, generally of purple or scarlet, most 
richly embroidered, open in the front, and fastened across the breast 
with a jewelled clasp. The gloves, with the ruby on the back of the 
hand, figuring the wounds of Christ, and the oflScial ring on the fore- 
finger of the right hand, are sometimes, but not always, introduced ; the 
mitre almost always ; the infuI(B, two bands or lappets, depending from 
the mitre behind, distinguish the bishop from the abbot. The staff, in 
the form of a shepherd's crook (baculus pastoralis\ completes the epis- 
copal habit and attributes. What is properly the crosier, the staff 
surmounted by a cross, is borne by archbishops. 

At the head of the early Bishops we place the Hierarchs of Home, 
first styled Popes about the year 500. Few are of general interest in 
their pontifical character, considered, I mean, as subjects of Art. St 
Gregory, for instance, does not figure as pope, but as a doctor of the 
Church; nor St. Clement as Pope, but as martyr: of both I have 
already spoken at length. St. Sixtus figures in the pictures of St 
Laurence ; and St. Urban in those of St Cecilia. St Cornelius, pope 
in 250 \ and St Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, are generally found in the 
same picture, because they were friends, contemporaries, and, as martyrs, 
commemorated on the same day. 

* A Saint, wearing the triple tiara and holding a horn (romw), is Su Cornelius, but he is 
very rarely met with. 


St Leo, sumamed the Great, when Some was threatened by Attila, 
preserved it by his bold and eloquent intercession. •* The apparition," 
says Gibbon, ^* of the two apostles, St. Peter and St Paul, who menaced 
the barbarian with instant death if he rejected the prayer of their 
successor, is one of the noblest legends of ecclesiastical tradition. The 
safety of Kome might deserve the interposition of celestial beings ; and 
some indulgence is due to a fable which has been represented by the 
pencil of a Raphael and the chisel of Algardi." 

Raphael's fresco, styled ** the Attila," is in the Vatican : it is rather 
historically than religiously treated ; it is, in fact, an historical picture. 
The marble altar-piece of Algardi is placed in St Peter's, over the 
chapel of St. Leo. The king of the Huns, terrified by the apparition 
of the two apostles in the air, turns his back and flies. We have here a 
picture in marble, with all the faults of taste and style which prevailed 
at that time, but the workmanship is excellent; it is, perhaps, the 
largest bas-relief in existence, excepting the rock sculpture of the 
Lidians and Egyptians — at least fifteen feet in height. 

There is an eflSgy in mosaic and a grand fresco representing St. Mark 
(the only pope who bore this name, and who lived in 340), in the church 
of San Marco at Rome. 

The popes, as bishops of Rome, are distinguished by the triple tiai*a, 
and the crosier surmounted by a double cross. The tiara, I believe, 
was first adopted by Boniface VIII., and supposed to signify the triple 
crown of our Saviour, — the crown of glory, the crown of mercy, and 
the crown of martyrdom ; but others have interpreted it to signify the 
triple dominion asserted by the Roman pontiff, as God's vicegerent over 
heaven, earth, and hell. 

Cardinal priests did not exist before the eighth century, and among 
the early prelates only St. Jerome wears, by usage and courtesy, the 
cardinal attributes. The earliest cardinal saint, properly so styled, was 
St Bonaventura the Franciscan, whose curious legend will be found 
among those of the Monastic Orders. 

Next after the popes and cardinals follow the Greek bishops ; at the 
head of these we place the Greek doctors, and immediately after them, 
the universal bishop patron St Nicholas, who, in Western Art, is always 

r r 2 


attired in the vestments proper to the Latin Church. Next to him the 
Greek bishops most universally honoured in their effigies are St 
Ignatius, St. Blaise, and St. Erasmus. 

At the head of the Latin bishops we place St Ambrose and St 
Augustine^ who generally appear in their higher character of Fathers of 
the Church. 

The other Latin bishops who figure in Art fall naturally into two 
groups, — those who were martyrs, and who take the first rank by 
virtue of their palm ; and those who were confessors. 

The obscure pastors of the early Italian churches are in a manner 
consecrated anew by the exceeding beauty and value of those works of 
art in which they figure. I shall, therefore, particularise a few of the 
most interesting among them. 

I begin my chapter of Bishops with the story of St Sylvester, 
patriarch of Bome, giving him the precedence, as such ; the title of 
Pope was not in use for two centuries at least after his time. 

St. Sylvester, Pope. 

Ital. San Silvestro. Fr. Saint Silvestre. December 31. a.d. 335. 


" Sylvester was bom at Bome of virtuous parents ; and at the time 
when Constantino was still in the darkness of idolatry and persecuted 
the Christians, Sylvester, who had been elected bishop of Bome, fled 
from the persecution, and dwelt fur some time in a cavern, near the 
summit of Monte Calvo. While he lay there concealed, the emperor 
was attacked by a horrible leprosy: and having called to him the 
priests of his false gods, they advised that he should bathe himself in a 
bath of children's blood, and three thousand children were collected for 
this purpose. And as he proceeded in his chariot to the place where 
the bath was to be prepared, the mothers of these children threw them- 
selves in his way with dishevelled hair, weeping, and crying aloud for 
mercy. Then Constantino was moved to tears, and he ordered his 

' St. Cornelius as pope^ holding a horn in his hand. H. v. der Goes. As patron, with fonr 
female votaries. Altar small : Academy, Vienna. 


chariot to stop^ and he said to his nobles and to his attendants who were 
around him, ' Far better is it that I should die than cause the death of 
these innocents I ' And then he commanded that the children should be 
restored to their mothers with great gifts^ in recompense of what they 
had suffered ; so they went away full of joy and gratitude, and the 
emperor returned to his palace. 

'^ On that same night, as he lay asleep, St Peter and St Paul 
appeared at his bedside ; and they stretched their hands over him and 
said, ^Because thou hast feared to spill the innocent blood, Jesus 
Christ has sent us to bring thee good counsel. Send to Sylvester, who 
lies hidden among the mountains, and he shall show thee the pool, in 
which having washed three times, thou shalt be clean of thy leprosy ; 
and henceforth thou shalt adore the God of the Christians, and thou 
shalt cease to persecute and to oppress them.' Then Constantino, 
awaking from this vision, sent his soldiers in search of Sylvester. And 
when they took him, he supposed that it was to lead him to death ; 
nevertheless he went cheerfully: and when he appeared before the 
emperor, Constantino arose and saluted him, and said, ' I would know 
of thee who are those two gods who appeared to me in the visions of 
the night ? * Ajid Sylvester replied, * They were not gods, but the 
apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ' Then Constantino desired that he 
would show him the effigies of these two aposties ; and Sylvester sent 
for two^ictiu-es of St Peter and St Paul, which were in the possession 
of certain pious Christians. Constantino, having beheld them, saw 
that they were the same who had appeared to him in his dream. Then 
Sylvester baptized him, and he came out of the font cured of his 
malady.' And, the first day after his baptism, he ordered that Jesus 
Christ should be adored throughout Borne as the only true God ; on 
the second day, that those who blasphemed against him should be put 
to death ; on the third day, that whoever should insult a Christian 
should have the half of his goods confiscated ; on the fourth day he 

' Constantine was not baptized till a few days before his death, and then by Ensebios. I 
hope it is not necessary to remind the reader of the wide difference between the Constantine 
of history and the St. Constantine of the legends. The donation of Constantine to the 
bishops of Rome was for ages considered a genuine grant, bat is now aniversally regarded as 


decreed, that thenceforth the bishop of Rome should be the chief over 
all the bishops of Christendom — as the emperor of Rome was the first 
among the sovereigns of the earth ; on the fifth day, he granted the 
privilege of sanctuary to all the Christian churches ; on the sixth day, 
be decreed that no one should build a church without the authority of 
the bishop; on the seventh day, that the tithes of all the Roman 
domains should be granted to the Church. On the eighth day, after 
confessing his sins and receiving forgiveness, he took a spade and dug 
with his own hands the foundation of a new basilica ; and he carried 
upon his shoulders twelve hods full of the earth that he had dug out 
Then he laid the first stone of the great basilica of St. John the Baptist, 
since called the Lateran. 

** Now when the Empress Helena, the mother of Constantine, heard 
these things, she reproached him, and told him it would have been 
better for him to have followed the God of the Jews than the God of 
the Christians (for Helena at this time inclined to Judaism). And 
Constantine wrote to her that she should bring with her the wisest of 
the Jewish Rabbis, and that they should hold an argument with 
Sylvester. So she repaired to Rome, bringing with her one hundred 
and forty of the doctors most learned in the kiw : and the emperor 
appointed a day on which to listen to them. He named as arbitrators 
two famous Greek philosophers, Crato and Zeno; and it was wisely 
decreed beforehand, that only one should speak at a time, and' all the 
others should keep silence till he had finished. And Sylvester, being 
inspired by the Holy Ghost, clearly convicted these men out of the 
Scriptures, and put them to silence. Then the most learned among the 
doctors, who was also a magician, defied Sylvester to a trial of the 
power of his God, and said to him with scorn, * Dost thou know the 
name of the Omnipotent, that name which no creature can hear and 
live ? I know it : let them bring me a wild bull, the fiercest that can 
be found, and when I have uttered that name in his ear, he will fall 
dead.' Then they brought in a fierce bull, which it required a hundred 
men to restrain. And when Zambri the magician had whispered that 
terrible name in his ear, he rolled his eyes and fell dead to the ground. 
Then the Jews cried out aloud, and threw themselves with fury upon 
Sylvester ; the two philosophers were struck dumb, and even Constan- 


tine was staggered. But Sylvester said calmly, * The name which he 
has pronounced cannot be that of God, but of Satan ; for Christ, who is 
our Redeemer, does not strike dead the living, but restores life to 
the dead : the power to kill belongs equally to men and to wild beasts : 
lions, tigers, serpents, can destroy life. Let Zambri restore with a 
word the creature he has slain ; as it is written, " I will kill, I will 
make alive." * Therefore the judges desired Zambri to restore the bull 
to life, but he could not do it. Then Sylvester made the sign of the 
cross, and commanded the bull to rise and go in peace. And the bull 
rose up as tame and as gentle as if he had been in the yoke from the 
hour of his birth. Then the Jews and the doctors, and all others 
present, being confounded by this miracle, believed and were bap- 

The story which follows Is rather a parable than a legend : — 
" Some time after the baptism of the emperor, the priests of the idols 
came to him and said, * Most Sacred Emperor, since you have embraced 
the faith of Christ, the great dragon which dwelleth in the moat hath 
destroyed every day more than three hundred men by his envenomed 
breath.' The emperor consulted Sylvester, who replied, * Have faith 
only, and I will subdue this beast.' Having said this, he went down 
into the moat, to which there was a descent of 142 steps, and having 
exorcised the dragon in the name of Him who was born of a virgin, 
crucified, buried, and raised from the dead, he closed and bound up the 
mouth of the dragon with a thread, twisting it round three times, and 
sealing it with the sign of the cross : and thus he delivered the people 
from a double death, — the death of idolatry, and the death of sin. 
(Here the obvious allegory requires no explanation; it is merely 
another form of the ancient myth of the dragon overcome and cast out.) 
" Also it is related of Sylvester, that he gave a refuge In his house to 
a Christian whose name was Timotheus, and who afterwards suffered 
martyrdom for having preached the faith of Christ. The governor, 
Tarquinian, being persuaded that Timotheus had left great riches, called 
upon Sylvester to deliver them up, threatening him with death and 
divers tortures. And Sylvester said, * Thou fool, this night shall thy 
soul be required of thee, and shall be delivered up to torments.' And 


SO it came to paaa; for when Tarquinian waa at dianer, a fish-boDe 
stuck in his thront, choked him, and he gave up the ghost." 

" After this, S}'lvest«r was present at the great council which was 
held at Nic€a,_ a city of Bithynia, in which Arius was condemned, and 
ronny ordinances did Sylvester make for the good of the Church. 
When he had governed for twenty-lhree years and ten months, he died, 
and was buried in the cemetery of Priscilla at Rome." 

The single figures of Sylvester represent him in the pootiBcal robes, 
and wearing, sometimes, a plun mitre; 
sometimes the triple tiara, with the book 
and the crosier as bishop. I have seen 
a small full-length figure in which he 
carries in his hand, merely as his attri- 
bute, a small dragon, and around its 
mouth are the three twisted threads.' 
, He has a bull crouching at his feet, 
which is his proper attribute, and gene- 
rally accompanies his Gothic effigies, 
whether in sculpture or stained glass: in 
fluch examples it is necessary to ob^rve, 
that his episcopal attire alone distin- 
guishes him from St Luke, who also has 
the ox. Sometimes he holds in his 
hands the portraits of St. Peter and St. 
Paul, or points to them. There is a 
full-length figure of a pope holding the 
pictures, en bnate, of the tvo apostles, 
called the portrait of Urban V. ; but if 
it be really a portrait, and represent this 
pope (which I doubt much), it is in the 
character of St Sylvester,' 

Constantine is represented in the dress of a Eoman emperor, or a 
Roman warrior; in one hand the labarum, or standard of the cross, 

' The picture is ul present in ihc collection of Mr. Bromley of Wootten. ' Bok^a G«l. 



which is sometimes a banner, and sometimes a lance surmounted by the 
monogram of Christ, as in this figure^ from the antique statue in the 
portico of the Lateran. 

As the legend of Sylvester and Constantino, half romantic, half 
allegorical, is one of the most curious and important in very early Art, 
I shall give one or two examples which may render others intelligible 
and interestincf. 

1. In the Bardi chapel in the Santa Croce at Florence, Giottiao 
painted, in three compartments, the dispute with the Jews ; the legend 
of the resuscitation of the bull ; and the dragon bound and silenced for 
ever by the power of the cross. These frescoes, which cover the right- 
hand wall, though much ruined, are still quite intelligible; and the 
compositions, for spirit and dramatic power, surprising, considering the 
period at which they were painted. 

2. The whole story of Constantine and Sylvester, in a series of very 
antique frescoes, as old perhaps as the eleventh century, at the upper 
end of the chapel of San Silvestro in the church of the ** Quattro In- 
coronati." 1. Constantine, in his chariot, is encountered by the 
bereaved and weeping mothers, to whom he restores their children. 2. 
He sees in a vision St. Peter and St. Paul. 3. He sends messengers 
to summon Sylvester. 4. The messengers arrive at Sylvester's cell on 
the Monte Calvo ; he looks out of the grated window. 5. He shows 
to the emperor the eflSgies of St. Peter and St. PauL 6. The baptism 
of Constantine. 7. He is crowned by St. Sylvester. The three com- 
partments which follow are in a most ruined state, but we can just 
discern the miracle of the wild bull. The whole series is engraved ia 
D'Agincourt's work. 

3. The legend of St Sylvester in three compartments, in a beautiful 
predella by Angelico da Fiesole.* 

4. The story of St Sylvester and Timotheus is most elaborately 
painted in thirty-one different subjects on one of the windows of the 
Cathedral of Chartres. 

5. Constantine and Pope Sylvester are seated on a throne together. 
The bishops and the Empress Helen seated in a circle ; several 

* Dorta Gal., Rome. 


executioners are burning the heretical books^ and the Holy Ghost 
descends in a glory from above. I believe this ancient picture represents 
the first council of Nice.* 

6. Constantine bestows, by a deed of gift, the city and territory of 
Kome on Pope Sylvester and his successors. (a.d. 325.) One of the 
grand frescoes in the Vatican. The scene represents the interior of the 
old church of St Peter ; to the left St. Sylvester, in the pontifical habit 
and seated on a throne, receives from the kneeling emperor the gift of 
the city of Rome, which is here represented by a symbolical figure in 
gold ; the head of Sylvester is the portrait of Clement VII., the reigning 
pontiff. Among the numerous personages who surround the pope and 
the emperor as attendants are several distinguished characters of that 
time ; for instance. Count Castiglione, the friend of B4iphael, and Giulio 
Komano, to whom the design as well as the execution of the fresco is 
ascribed by Passavant.' 

In the same hall are eight grand ideal figures of the most celebrated 
of the early popes, attended by allegorical figures representing the 
virtues for which each pontiff was remarkable, or expressive of some 
leading point in his life and character. 

1. St. Peter, in the pontifical habit, attended by the Church and 
Eternity. 2. Clement I. (the martyr), attended by Moderation and 
Gentleness. The beautiful figure of Gentleness, with the lamb at her 
feet, has been engraved ty Strange, and might be mistaken for a St. 
Agnes. 3. Alexander I. (or Sylvester), attended by Fdth and 
Religion. 4. Urban I., the friend of St. Cecilia, attended by Justice 
and Charity. 5. Damasus I. (a. d. 366 — 384) attended by Foresight 
and Peace. 6. Leo I. (a.d. 440—462) attended by Purity and Truth. 
7. Felix III. attended by Strength. 8. Gregory VII. (the famous 
Hildebrand, A.D. 1073 — 1085), attended by a single female figure 
holding a thunderbolt in one hand, in the other the Gospel; according 
to Passavant, signifying Spiritual Might. 

Much might be said of this series of Popes and their attendant 
virtues ; and, indeed, the whole of this Hall of Constantine suggests a 
thousand thoughts, which I must leave the reader to think out for 

' Ciampini, vol. ii. p. 183, « "Rafael," vol. ii. p. 373, 


himself. I will only repeat^ that the papal saints, with the exception of 
St. Sylvester and St Gregory, are not of general interest in the history 
of Art 

St, Ignatius Theophorus, Bishop and Mabttb. 

Ital Sant' Ignazia Fr. Saint Ignace. Ger. Der Heilige Ignaz. Feb. 1. A.D. 107. 

^^ Ignatius and Polycarp were disciples together of St John the 
Evangelist, and linked together in fnendship, as they were associated in 
good works. It is a tradition that St. Ignatius had seen the face of the 
Lord ; that he was the same whom, as a child, the Saviour had taken in 
his arms, and set in the midst of the disciples, saying, * Of such are the 
kingdom of heaven.' It is also related of him that he grew up in such 
innocence of heart and purity of life, that to him it was granted to hear 
the angels sing ; hence, when he afterwards became bishop of Antioch, 
he introduced into the service of his church the practice of singing the 
praises of God in responses, as he had heard the choirs of angels 
answering each other. 

'^ And it happened in those days that the Emperor Trajan went to 
fight against the Scythians and Dacians, and obtained a great victory 
over them. And he commanded that thanksgivings and sacrifice to the 
false gods should be offered up in all the provinces of his vast empire. 
Only the Christians refused to obey. 

" When Trajan came to Antioch he ordered Ignatius to be brought 
before him, and reproached him for seducing the people from the worship 
of their gods, promising him infinite rewards if he would sacrifice in the 
temple ; but Ignatius replied, * O Caesar, wert thou to offer me all the 
treasures of thy empire, yet would I not cease to adore. the only true 
and living God I ' And Trajan said, * What 1 talkest thou of a living 
God? Thy God is dead upon the cross* Our gods reign upon 
Olympus.' And Ignatius said, * Your gods were vicious mortals, and 
have died as such : your Jove is buried in Candia; your Esculapius was 
shot with an arrow ; your Venus lies in the island of Paphos ; and your 
Hercules burned himself in a great fire because he could not endure 



pain. These be your gods^ O Emperor I ' * When Trajan heard this, 
be caused his mouth to be stopped^ and commanded him to be led forth 
to a dungeon ; and at first he resolved to put him at once to death, but 
afterwards he reserved him for the amphitheatre. 

" When Ignatius heard his sentence, he rejoiced greatly ; he assisted 
his guards in fastening the chains on his limbs, and set forth on his 
journey ; and being come to Smyrna, he met Polycarp and other of his 
friends, to whom he recommended the care of his church. And all 
wept, and Polycarp said, * Would to God that I too might be found 
worthy to suffer for this cause I' To which Ignatius replied, * Doubt 
not, brother, that thy time will come ; but for the present the Church 
has need of thee.' So they embraced, weeping, and his friends kissed 
his hands, his garments, his chains, and bid him farewell, rejoicing in his 
courage and fervour. Then Ignatius and his guards embarked in a 
vessel and sailed for Rome; and being come there, the prefect on a 
certain feast-day ordered him to be brought forth and placed in the 
midst of the amphitheatre. And Ignatius, standing in the midst, lifted 
up his voice and cried, * Men and Romans, know ye that it is not for 
any crime that I am placed here, but for the glory of that God whom I 
worship. I am as the wheat of his field, and must be ground by the 
teeth of the lions that I may become bread worthy of being served up 
to him.^ Such were the words of this holy and courageous man as they 
have been truly recorded, and no sooner were they uttered than two 
furious lions were let loose upon him, and they tore him to pieces and 
devoured him, so that nothing was left of him but a few bones." (But 
according to another version of the story he fell down dead before the 
lions reached him, and his body remained untouched.) 

A few days after his death his remains were collected by his disciples 
and carried to Antioch ; and, according to tradition, some relics were 
brought to Rome about the year 540, and deposited in the ancient 
church of San Clemente. 

The story and the fate of Ignatius are so well attested, and so 
sublimely affecting, that it has always been to me a cause of surprise as 
well as regret to find so few representations of him. I do not remember 

* This reply of Ignatios does not seem consistent with the notions of the earlj Christians, 
respecting the false gods. I give it, however, from the ** PerfeUo LegendcLrio,** 


lee Tlw Hirlrrdom of SI. Ignilliu. (From • Of»k US. of tl»i9th«ntur]>.) 

any figure of him in a devotional picture ; but he ought to be repre- 
fiented in the dress of a Greek bishop, with a lion or two lions at 
his side. 

His martyrdom is a more frequent subject The woodcut is from a 
curious niiniature in the Greek Menology, executed for the Emperor 
Basil in the dth century. The original is on a gold ground) the colours 
still most vivid. At Seville there is a picture of St. Ignatius exposed 
in the amphitheatre, by P. Boelas ; and I have seen One at Vienna by 
Creutzfelder. None of these are worthy of the subject; but in truth 
it is one which we could more easily endure to see ill than well expressed. 
The horror with which we regard it is increased by the recollection that 
St. Ignatius only represents one of many hundreds who perished in the 
same manner for the atrocions pleasure of a sanguinary populace. 

On the side walls of the church of San Clemente are some large and 
very bad frescoes, or rather distemper paintings, representing scenes 
from the life of St. Ignatius. They appear to be of the time of 


Clement XL^ that is, about 1700. I am infonned that the modem 
frescoes in the church of St. Ignatius at Mayence are extremely fine ; 
but cannot speak of them from my own knowledge. 

There are several dramas on the story of St Ignatius. A tragedy 
entitled ** The Martyrdom of St. Ignatius," written in 1740, was acted 
at Hull in 1781, and the part of Ignatius performed by Stephen 
Kemble : I do not know with what success, but it was pronounced more 
pious than poetical. 

St. Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, was condemned many years after- 
wards to the same cruel death ; but the games being over, he was 
burned alive, in the reign of Marcus Aurelius. Of this celebrated 
martyr and father of the Church I have never seen any eflSgy. Some 
of the scenes of his life — for instance, the parting with Ignatius, or his 
condemnation by the people — would furnish fine picturesque subjects, 
and the authenticity of his story renders the neglect of it the more 

St. Blaise, Bishop op Sebaste. 

ItaL San Biagia Fr, Saint Blaise. Ger. Der Heilige Blasius. Patron saint of woolcomben^ 
of all who suffer from diseases of the throat, and of wild animals. Patron of Ragnsm 
Feh. 3. A.D. 289. 

The legend of St. Blaise, a popular saint in England and France, is of 
Greek origin. He was bishop over the Christian Church at Sebaste in 
Cappadocia, and governed his flock for many years with great vigilance, 
till the persecution under Diocletian obliged him to fly, and he took 
refuge in a mountain cave at some distance from the city. This moun- 
tain was the haunt of wild beasts, bears, lions, and tigers ; but these 
animals were so completely subdued by the gentleness and piety of the 
good old man, that, far from doing him any harm, they came every 
morning to ask his blessing ; if they found him kneeling at his devo« 
tions, they waited duteously till he had finished, and having received 
the accustomed benediction they retired. Now in the city of Sebaste, 
and in the whole province,, so many Christians were put to death, that 


there began to be a scarcity of wild beasts for the amphitheatres ; and 
Agricolaus, the governor, sent his hunters into the mountdns to collect 
as many lions, tigers, and bears as possible ; and it happened that these 
hunters, arriving one day before the mouth of the cave in which St 
Blaise had taken refuge, found him seated in front of it^ and surrounded 
by a variety of animals of different species ; — the lion and the lamb, the 
hind and the leopard, seemed to have put off their nature, and were 
standing amicably together, as though there had been everlasting peace 
between them ; and some he blessed with holy words, knowing that 
God careth for all things that he has made ; and to others that were 
sick or wounded he ministered gently, and others he reprehended be^ 
cause of their rapacity and gluttony. And when the hunters beheld 
this, they were like men in a dream, they stood astonished, thinking 
they had found some enchanter ; and they seized him and carried him 
before the governor, and, as they went, the good bishop returned thanks 
to God, and rejoiced greatly, that, at length, he had been found worthy 
to die for the cause of Christ. On the journey, they met a poor woman 
whose only child had swallowed a fish-bone, which had stuck in his 
throat, and he was on the point of being choked ; and seeing the bishop, 
the mother fell at his feet, saying, " O servant of Christ, have mercy 
upon me ! " and he, being moved with compassion, laid his hand upon 
the throat of the child and prayed, and the child was healed, and he 
restored him to his mother : and going a little farther, they found an- 
other poor woman whose only worldly riches had consisted in a pig, 
which the wolf had carried off; and he who had obtained power over 
all the savage beasts, told her to be of good cheer, for her pig should 
be restored to her ; and the wolf, at his command, brought it back 

When, at length, he appeared before the tribunal, the cruel governor 
ordered him to be scourged, and cast into a dungeon without food ; but 
the poor woman, whose pig he had saved, having meanwhile providen- 
tially killed her pig, brought him a part of it cooked, with some bread 
and fruit, so that he did not perish ; and he blessed this woman, with 
whom all things prospered from that time forth. Then he was brought 
a second time before the governor, and he, far more savage than the 
beasts of the forest, ordered St Blaise first to be tortured by having his 


flesh torn with iron combs^ such as they use to card wool ; and finding 
that his constancy was not to be subdued by this or any other tormentSi 
he commanded his head to be struck off, which was done. Thus^ the 
good bishop received the crown of martyrdom ; and seven pious women 
wiped up his blood. 

Pictures of St. Blaise are not frequent In single figures and devo- 
tional pictures he is represented as an old man with a white beard, 
attired as a bishop with the planeta and mitre^ holding in one hand a 
crosier^ in the other an iron comb, such as is used by the woolcombers, 
the instrument of his torture ; this is his peculiar attribute. He is thus 
represented on the coins of Ragusa. 

A picture by Monsignori (of Verona), engraved in Bossini^s History 
of Painting, represents him stripped ready for the torttu'e, his hands tied 
above his head ; on one side stands an angel holding the iron comb, on 
the other an angel holding the crosier and mitre. 

St. Blaise sitting at the mouth of his cave, and surrounded by a 
variety of animals, with his hand raised in the act of benediction, is a 
subject frequent in the ancient miniatures and stained glass. 

In " The Martyrdom of San Biagio," by Carlo Maratd (in the 
Carignano, at Genoa) he has, with great good taste, avoided the dread- 
ful and disgusting as far as possible. The executioners are in the act 
of raising the aged saint by means of a pulley, to suspend him to a 
gallows ; others are standing by with the iron combs prepared to torture 
him ; while he, with an expression of pious resignation, raises his eyes 
to heaven, and seems to pray for fortitude to endure the impending 
torment. In allusion to the ** pious women " mentioned in the legend, 
one or two women are generally introduced into the martyrdom of 
St Blaise. 

This sdnt keeps his place in the English reformed calendar, and as 
patron and protector of woolcombers and woolstaplers is especially 
popular in Yorkshire, where he is regarded as the inventor of wool- 
combing, and still commemorated in the town of Bradford by a festival 
held every seven years, wherein Prince Jason and the Princess Medea, 
Bishop Blaise and his chaplain, all walk together in grand procession.^ 

1 He has three churches dedicated to his honour in EngUmd. 


St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, who perished in the persecution 
under Valerian, and whose martyrdom is one of the most authentic and 
interesting in the history of the Christian Church, is so rarely met with 
as a subject of Art, that I can recollect but one example, in a picture 
by Paul Veronese, in the Brera at Milan, where St. Augustine sits 
enthroned, and before him stand St Cyprian with the palm and mitre 
at his feet, and on the other side his fnend St. Cornelius, pope in 251. 

St. Erasmus. 

ItaL Sant' Elmo or Erasmo. Sp, St Ermo or Eramo. Fr, Saint Elme. 

June 3. A-D. 296. 

This saint was one of the bishops of the early Church, and was mar- 
tyred in the persecution of the Christians under Diocletian and Maxi- 
mian at Formia, now Mola di Gaeta, between Kome and Naples. As 
his firmness withstood all ordinary tortures, for him a new and horrible 
death was prepared ; he was cut open, and his entrails wound off on a 
sort of wheel such as they use to wind off skeins of wool or silk. Such 
an implement is placed in his hand, and is his peculiar attribute. He is 
represented as an aged man attired as a bishop. 

His supposed martyrdom — for the affrighted imagination is obliged 
to take refuge in doubt or incredulity — is the only subject from his life 
which I have met with in a picture, and fortunately it is very rare. It 
was painted by Niccolo Poussin — though how his tender and refined 
mind could be brought to study all the details of a subject so abomin- 
able, is difficult to conceive ; — it was commanded by the pope, Urban 
VIII., and is perpetuated in a mosaic which is over the altar of St. 
Erasmo in St Peter's. It is said to be in point of expression one of 
Poussin's best works ; and that the head of the saint, agonized at once 
and full of heavenly faith and resignation, is a masterpiece. I never could 
look at the picture long enough or steadily enough to certify to the truth 
of this eulogium, and I should rather subscribe to the just remarks of 
Sir Edmund Head : after observing that the French artists in general 
do not seem to feel " the limits which separate the horrible from the 
pathetic," he adds, " the subject is no excuse for the painter. Such 



subjects, as has been well observed, should be treated -by the selection 
of a moment before the horror is complete;" as in Parmigiano's St 

St Erasmus, under the name of Sant* Elmo, is famous on the shores 
of the Mediterranean, in Calabria, Sicily, and Spain, where the mariners 
invoke him against storms and tempests : he is sometimes represented 
with a taper in his hand or on his head. Every one who has visited 
Naples will remember the celebrated monastery and fortress placed 
under his protection. 

St. Apollinaris of Ravenna. 

Ital Sant' ApoUinare. Fr, Saint ApoUinaire. July 23. a.d. 79. 

In the last year of the reign of the Emperor Vespasian, Apollinaris, 
first bishop of Kavenna, was martyred outside the gate of that city. 

It is related of him that he accompanied the apostle Peter from 
Antioch, and was for some time his companion and assistant at Home ; 
but, after a while, St Peter sent him to preach the Gospel on the 
eastern coast of Italy, having first laid his hands on him and com- 
municated to him those gifts of the Holy Spirit which were vouchsafed 
to the apostles. 

Apollinaris, therefore, came to the city of Ravenna, where he preached 
the faith of Christ with so much success that he collected around him a 
large congregation, and performed miracles, silencing wherever he came 
the voice of the false oracles, and overcoming the demons ; but the 
heathens, being filled with rage, threw him into prison, whence escaping 
by the favour of his jailer, he fled from the city by the gate which leads 
to Rimini. His enemies pursued him, and, having overtaken him about 
three miles from the gate, they fell upon him and beat him, and pierced 
him with mimy wounds, so that when his disciples found him soon 
afterwards he died in their arms, and his spirit fled to heaven. 

On the spot where he suffered, about 534 years afterwards, was built 
and dedicated to his honour the magnificent basilica of St ApoUinaris- 
iu-CIasse. It is still seen standing in the midst of a solitary marshy 

ST. DONATO. 701 

plain near Ravenna, surrounded with rice-grounds and on the verge of 
that vast melancholy pine-forest made famous in the works of Boccaccio, 
Dante, and Byron. The full-length figure in mosaic, in the apsis of 
this antique church, exhibits the oldest of the few representations I have 
met with of this saint, whose celebrity and worship are chiefly confined 
to Ravenna. He is in the habit of a Greek bishop, that is, in white, 
the pallium embroidered with black crosses, no mitre, and with grey 
hair and beard. He stands, with hands outspread, preaching to his 
congregation of converts, who are represented by several sheep — the 
common symbol. Another of the wonderful old churches of this city, 
also dedicated to the saint, stands within the walls : it was built by 
Theodoric, as the chief place of worship for the Arians, and dose to his 
palace. The interior is covered with mosaics in the Greek style. 
Among them is the grand procession of martyrs, already described.^ 

St. Donato of Arezzo. 

LaL St Donatos Fr, Saiint Donat. Angust 7. 

In the time of the Emperor Julian the Apostate, was martyred St 
Donatus, bishop of Arezzo. He was of illustrious birth, and was 
brought up with Julian, both being educated in the Christian faith ; but 
when Julian became emperor, and apostatised from the truth, he per- 
secuted the Christians, and put many of them to death, and among 
them was the father of Donatus ; therefore Donatus fled from Rome, 
and took refuge in Arezzo. He had for his companion the monk 
Hilarion, a man of most holy life, and together they performed many 
miracles, healing the sick and curing those who were possessed by evil 
spirits. There was a certain man who was the taxgatherer of the pro- 
vince, who, having occasion to go on a journey, left all the money in 
his possession due to the imperial treasury in the care of his wife 

* V. p. 525. At Remagan, on the Rhine, a Terj beautiful church has lately been dedicated 
to St ApollinariB: the whole of the interior is painted in fresco by the most celebrated painters 
of the modem German school 

R R 2 


Eupbrosina. It was a large sum, and she, fearing to be robbed^ dug a 
bole in a corner of ber bouse and buried it Having done tbis, she died 
suddenly witbout having revealed the spot in which she had hidden the 
money. When her husband returned he was in great trouble, fearing 
to be put to death as a defaulter, and he had recourse to St. Donatu& 
The holy man, having compassion on him, went with him to the sepul- 
chre of his wife ; and having first prayed earnestly, be called out with a 
loud voice, " Euphrosina, make known to us where thou hast hidden 
the treasure : ^ and she from the tomb answered him ; which was a great 
wonder, and witnessed by many people. And after these things, being 
made bishop of Arezzo, it happened that on a certain day, as he was 
celebrating the communion, the sacramental cup, which was of glass, 
was broken by some rude pagans who thought to insult the Christians ; 
but, at the prayer of the holy bishop, the fragments reunited in his 
band, and it became as before, and spilt no drop. This miracle, which 
is related by St. Gregory in his Dialogues, was the cause that many 
were converted, and so enraged the heathens that the Roman prefect 
ordered Hilarion to be scourged to death ; and St. Donatus, after being 
tortured, was decapitated. The bodies of both lie buried under the 
high altar of the Cathedral of Arezzo. 

The shrine of San Donate, executed for the people of Arezzo by 
Giovanni Pisano, a.d. 1286, stands upon the altar, which is isolated in 
the choir, and is covered on all sides with bas-reliefs, representing the 
life and miracles of the saint. It is very celebrated as a monument of 
Italian middle-age Art, but appeared to me extremely unequal : some 
of the figures full of grace and feeling ; others rude, clumsy, and dis- 
proportioned. Parts of it are engraved in Cicognara's work. 

Several pictures from the life of St. Donato are also in the cathedral, 
among which his martyrdom is the best. His effigy appears on the 
ancient coins of Arezzo. 

St. Zenobio of Florence is extremely interesting as connected with 
the beautiful ecclesiastical edifices of Florence, and with some of the 
finest and most important works of the early Florentine school, both in 
painting and sculpture. 


St. Zenobio was bom in the last year of the reign of Constantino, of 
a noble family. His father's name was Lucian, his mother's name was 
Sophia. They brought him up in all the wisdom and learning of the 
Gentiles, but he was converted secretly by his teachers, and afterwards 
converted his parents. He became himself distinguished by his pious 
and modest deportment, and by his eloquence as a preacher of the faith* 
He afterwards resided with Pope Damasus I. as deacon and secretary^ 
and being sent to appease the religious dissensions in his native city, 
was unanimously elected bishop by the Catholics and Arians. He 
continued to lead a life of poverty and self-denial, honoured by the 
good, respected by the wicked, converting numbers to Christianity, not 
less by his example than his teaching ; and died at length in the reign 
of Honorius (May 25. A.D. 417). 

In the picture of St. Zenobio suspended against one of the pillars 
opposite to the principal entrance of the Duomo at Florence, he is 
repre^sented enthroned, in his episcopal robes, and with his hand raised 
in the act of benediction. He has no particular attribute, but occa- 
sionally in the old Florentine prints some legend from his life is repre- 
sented in the background, and this serves to fix the identity : a tree 
bursting into leaf is, I think, the attribute usually adopted. Sometimes 
it is a mother kneeling by her dead child ; but this, being applicable to 
several other saints, is deceptive. 

** It is related that when they were bearing the remains of St. Zenobio 
through the city in order to deposit them under the high altar of the 
cathedral, the people crowded round the bearers and pressed upon the 
bier in order to kiss the hands or touch the garments of their beloved 
old bishop. In passing through the Piazza del Duomo the body of the 
saint was thrown against the trunk of a withered elm standing near the 
spot where the baptistery now stands, and suddenly the tree, which had 
for years been dead and dried up, burst into fresh leaves."^ 

This story is the subject of an admirable picture by Ridolfo Ghir- 
landajo, in which there are heads worthy of Raphael for beauty and 
intense expression.' 

** St. Zenobio made a journey to a city among the Apennines, in 

* Ezek. xvii. 24.; Job, xir. 7. • Florence Gal. 


order to consecrate a ChrietifUi church. On this occasion his friend 
St. Ambrose sent messengers to him with pfta of precious relics. But 
it happened that the chief of the messengers, in passing tiirougb a goi^ 
in the mount^s, fell) with his mule, down a steep precipice, and was 
crushed to death. His companions, in great grief and consternation, 
brought his mutilated body and laid it down at the feet of St. Zenobio, 
and at the prayer of the good bishop the man revived, aad rose up, and 
pursued his journey homewards with prayer and thanksgiving. 

" A French lady of noble lineage, who was performing a pilgrimage 
to Rome, stopped at Florence on the way, in order to see ihe good 
bishop Zenobio, of whom she had beard so much, and, haying received 
his blessing, she proceeded on to Home, leaving in his care her little 
son. The day before her return to Florence, the child died. She was 
overwhelmed with grief, and took the child and laid him down at the 
feet of St. Zenobio, who, by the efficacy of his prayers, restored the 
child to life, and gave him back to the arms of his mother." 

This popular legend appears in several of the most heaatiful works of 
the early Florentine school :^ — 


1. In a picture by Masaccio. Here the resuscitation of the child is 
represented in the artless mann^ usual with the early artists. The 
dead child lies on the ground^ and the living child stands beside the 
lifeless effigy of himself, (167) 

2. In the picture by Ridolfo Ghirlandajo, the dead child lies on the 
earth, crowned with flowers, as if prepared for the grave : the mother 
kneels with dishevelled hair, and the bishop and his attendants stand 
near. The scene of this miracle was the Borgo degli Albizzi, well 
known to those who have visited Florence. 

" A little child, having strayed from his mother in the streets of 
Florence, was run over and trampled upon by a car drawn by two 
unruly oxen, but restored to life by the prayers of the holy bishop 
Zenobio." This story also frequently occurs in the Florentine works 
of Art. 

3. On the bronze sarcophagus executed by Lorenzo Ghiberti to con- 
tain the remains of St Zenobio, are three beautiful groups in bas-relief. 

^1. The Restoration of the Son of the French Lady. 2. The Resus- 
citation of the Messenger of St. Ambrose. 3. The story of the Child 
trampled by the Oxen.* 

St. Regulus is interesting only at Lucca ; his statue, and the bas- 
relief beneath representing his martyrdom, in the Duomo there, rank 
among the finest works of one of the finest of the middle-age sculptors, 
Matteo Civitale di Lucca. This St. Regulus was an African bishop, 
who, in the disputes between the Catholics and Arians, fled from his 
diocese in Africa, and took refuge in Tuscany, where for some time he 
lived in holy solitude ; but on the invasion of Italy by Totila, king of 
the Goths, he suflFered martyrdom, being beheaded by some barbarian 
soldiers on refusing to appear before their king. The legend relates, 
that he took his head in his hands and walked with it to the distance of 
two stadia, and there sat down, when two of his disciples coming up, he 
delivered to them his head, which they with great awe and reverence 

' ** The miracles and death of St Zenobio " by Sandro Botticelli, waa in the collection of 
Herr y. Quandt, at Dresden, and engraved hj J. Thater. 


buried on the spot. I do not remember that this incident is introduced 
in Civitale's bas-relief, nor do I recollect in genuine Italian Art any 
bishop represented without his head, even where the legend justifies it. 

St. Frediano (Frigdianus), the other patron of Lucca, waa an Irish 
saint, who migrated to Lucca, and became bishop of that city in the sixth 
century (a.d. 560.). It is related that in a terrible inundation which 
threatened to destroy Lucca he turned the course of the river Serchio, 
tracing the direction in which it was to flow by drawing a harrow along 
the ground, and the river obediently followed the steps of the holy man. 
Thus we find poetically shadowed forth those costly embankments 
through which the course of the Serchio was changed, and its terrible 
annual inundations rendered less destructive. In the extraordinary old 
church of San Frediano at Lucca (dating from the seventh century) 
Francia painted the whole history of the saint. 

St. Zeno, bishop of Verona in the fourth century, has the title of 
martyr, but on uncertain grounds. He was celebrated for his charity 
and Christian virtues, and for the manner in which he kept together his 
flock in times of great tribulation. According to one version of his 
legend, he was martyred by Julian the Apostate (April 12. a. d. 380). 

He is honoured chiefly at Verona, where his very ancient church is 
one of the most interesting monuments of art in all Italy. In this 
church is a statue of him held in great veneration by the people. It b 
of wood, painted to imitate life. He is seated in his pastoral chair, and 
holds a long fishing-rod (or reed) in his hand, with a fish hanging to the 
line. The complexion is very dark, and the expression not only good- 
humoured, but jovial. The dark colour is probably given to indicate 
his African birth. According to the legend at Verona, he was very 
fond of fishing in the Adlge ; but I imagine that the fish is here the 
ancient Christian symbol which represented conversion and the rite of 

The " Coppa di San Zenonty^ preserved in this church, is a lai^e vase 


of poqjhyry, in which the saint used to baptize hia converts. According 
to the Veronese legend, it was brought by a demon from Palestine, by 
command of the bishop, and in a 
single night. 

In the early pictures of the Vero- 
nese school, those for instance by 
Xiiberale and Morando, a saint, in the 
habit of a bishop, and with a fish 
suspended from his crozier, may be 
presmned to represent Sl Zeno.* 

It is related that King Pepin held 
this saint in such estimation, tliat he 
desired to be buried in the same 
grave with him. 

St. Geminiantjs was bishop of 
Modena about the year 450 ; pictures 
of the legends related of him appear 
only in the churches of that city. 
He was sent for to Constantinople to 
dispossess the daughter of the em- 
peror, who suffered grievously from 
a demon* ; he also by his intercession 
saved the city of Modena, when 
threatened by Attila, king of the 

Huns; and lastly (after his death), '^ '" "' ""^ ""' 
preserved the cathedral from being destroyed in a great inundation. 

He figures on the coins of Modena, and also in some celebrated 
pictures, as patron and protector of the city.- 

I. Correggio, in his famous picture, " the Madonna di San Giorgio," 
painted for the Dominicans at Modena, and now at Dresden, has repre- 
sented San Geminiano taking from an angel the model of a church, and 

■ In a picture bj Giroluno da' Libri (Berlin Gal., 30.) St. Zcno appears wiibout the mitre. 
* I presume Lhe Princcsi Hotioria, nhosc Moiy is to graphical!}' related by Qiblion in his 
thirty-fiiyi chapter. 

VOL. II. 8 8 


about to present it to the Infant Redeemer^ whose hands are eagerly 
stretched out as if to save it. This, I believe, alludes, very poetically, 
either to the dedication or the preservation of the cathedraL On the 
other side are St. Peter Martyr the Dominican, St John the Baptist, 
and the admirable figure of St George. 

2. Paul Veronese. St Geminiano, bishop of Modena, and St 
Severus, bishop of Ravenna, are seen reading the Gospel out of the 
same book ; this alludes to the legend that St Severus, while reading 
the epistle in the service at Ravenna, suddenly fell asleep, and beheld 
in a vbion the death and obsequies of St Geminianus. (At Venice, 
but I now forget in what churcL) 

3. Guercino. St Geminiano, in his episcopal habit and wearing the 
mitre, receives from an angel the city of Modena (represented as a 
small model of the city), which he is about to present to the Saviour. 
This alludes, poetically, to the preservation of the city from Attila.^ 

Sant' Ercolano (Herculanus) was bishop of Perugia about the 
year 546. At this time took place the invasion of the Goths under 
Totila. During the long siege of Perugia, the good bishop assisted 
and encouraged his people ; and when the city was at length taken, 
Totila ordered him to be beheaded on the ramparts. His body was 
thrown into the ditch, where being afterwards found with a little child 
lying dead beside him, they were both buried in the same grave. His 
effigy is on the coinage of Perugia. 

Of St. Costanzo (Constantius), bishop of Perugia in the third or 
fourth century, nothing is known but that he was martyred in the 
reign of Marcus Aurelius. He is venerated in this part of Italy, and 
the territory between Perugia and Foligno is called the Strada di 

These two saints are interesting at Perugia, as they occur in some 
beautiful pictures of that school, particularly in those of Perugino : for 
instance, in one of his finest works, the altar-piece now in the Vatican, 
called the " Madonna con quattro Santi^^ which was one of the pictures 
carried off from Perugia to France in 1797. 

* Louvre, 55. 

ST. PETBONirS. n» 

St. Petronius, bishop and patroo eaint of IJologna, was a Koman 
of illustrious birth, and an early convert to Christianity, He diatin- 
guiehed himself by banishing the 
Arians from Bologna, which appears 
to have been his chief merit ; he died 
October 4. a.d. 430, and la not en- 
titled to the honours of a martyr. 

Pictures of this eaint are confined 
to Bologna. Every traveller in Italy 
will remember his beautiful church in 
that city. The most ancient repre- 
sentation of him is the full-length 
effigy, carved in wood, and painted, 
which stands within his church, on 
the left-hand side. He wears the 
episcopal robes, mitre, and crosier, 
with a thick black beard, a charac- 
teristic not usually followed by the 
Bologna painters, whf> exhibit him 
either with no beard at all or with 
very little. In the devotional pic- 
tures he holds in his band the city of 
Bologna, distinguished by the tall 
central tower (the Torre Asinelli), 
and the leaning tower near it. 

As be is the subject of many cele- '<» st rcifomui. (LorcmoCoiu,) 
brat«d pictures, I shall give a few examples. 

He is enthroned as patron and bishop, between St. Frauds d'Assisi 
and St. Thomas Aquinas the Dominican ; by Lorenzo Costa.' 

St. Petroniua, seated, holds the city in his hand, opposite to him St. 
John the Evangelist reading his Gospel ; by Francesco Cossa. 

In a beautiful figure by Lorenzo Costa, he stands on the right of the 
Virgin, holding the city ; St. Thecia is on the left (169. 141). 

" The Descent of the Holy Ghost ; *' — the Virgin as well as the 

apostles being present, and St. Gregory and St. Pctronius standing by 

' Bulognn finl. 


as witnesses of this stupendous scene. This appears an unaccountable 
combination, till we learn that the picture was painted for the brother- 
hood of the Santo Spirito. 

But the most celebrated picture In which St. Petronius appears is 
the masterpiece of Guido, the Pietil in the Bologna Grallery. 

Another picture, one of Guide's finest works, was dedicated on the 
cessation of a terrible plague in 1630. St Petronius is represented as 
interceding for his city at the feet of the Madonna and Child in glory. 

St. Pkoculus is another bishop of Bologna, who appears in the 
Bolognese pictures ; he was martyred by Totila, king of the Goths, 
about 445. He must not be confounded with St Proculus the soldiery 
also a Bolognese saint ^ 

St. Mercuriale, first bishop of Forli in the second century, appears 
as patron saint in some fine pictures in the churches at Forli. He has 
the common attribute of the dragon, as having yanquished sin and 
idolatry in that part of Italy, as in a picture by Cigoli. 

San Romulo (Romulus), first bishop and apostle of Fiesole. 
According to the legend he was a noble Roman, one of the converts of 
St Peter, who sent him to preach the Gospel to the jfeople of Fiesole, 
then one of the greatest of the Etruscan cities. Romulus, accused of 
being a Christian, and taken before the praetor, was condemned to 
death ; he was first bound hand and foot, and thrown into a dungeon, 
where he remained four days, and then, after many torments, despatched 
with a dagger. He suffered under Nero (July 23.). 

The old Cathedral of Fiesole is dedicated to him. The fine altar- 
piece by AUori represents St. Romulus baptizing the converts. He is 
found also in the sculptures of Mino da Fiesole and Andrea Feracci ; 
by the latter is the fine basso-relievo in his church representing his 
martyrdom. I have also found St. Romulo in the churches of Florence ; 
he wears the episcopal habit, and carries the palm. 

San Maurelio (Maurelius), first bishop and patron of Ferrara and 

• Sec the " Warrior Sainte," farther on. 


Imola : he was beheaded. This saint appears on the coinage of Ferrara. 
The Martyrdom of San Maurelio, painted by Guercino for the abbot of 
San Giorgio, is now in the public gallery of Ferrara. 

San Casciano (St. Cassian), patron of Imola, was a schoolmaster of 
that city, and being denounced as a Christian, the judge gave him up to 
the fury of his scholars, whom the severity of his discipline had inspired 
with the deepest hatred ; the boys revenged themselves by putting him 
to a slow and cruel death, piercing him with the iron styles used in 
writing : his story is told by Prudentius, and is represented, as I have 
been informed, in the Cathedral at Imola. 

St. Gaudenzio (Gaudentius), bishop and patron of Bimini, was 
scourged, and then stoned, by the Arian party, which at that time had 
the upper hand in Italy. (October 14. a.d. 359.) His effigy is on the 
early coinage .of BiminL 

Another St. Gaudentius was bishop of Novara, and appears as patron 
of that city. 

St. Siro (Syrus), first bishop of Pavia in the 4th century, governed 
the church there for fifty-six years : whether he was martyred is uncer- 
tain. His effigy is on the early coins of Pavia, and a beautiful statue of 
him is in the cathedral. 

St. Abbondio, fourth bishop of Como, was a native of Thessalonica, 
contemporary with Leo I. He is the apostle and patron of that part of 
Italy, and figures in the Cathedral at Como. 

St. Hilary, though properly a French saint (he was bishop of 
Poitiers in the fourth century), is considered as one of the lights of the 
early Italian Church, and distinguished himself in Lombardy by opposing 
the Arians ; hence he is reverenced through the north of Italy under 
the name of Sant' Ilario. As one of the patrons of Parma, where some 
of his relics are said to repose, he is the subject of one of Correggio's 
splendid frescoes in the cathedral there. He has a church at Cremona, 


where I remember a very fine picture by Giulio Campi, representing 
the grand old bishop seated on a raised throne reading the Gospel, which 
lies open on his knees^ while St Catherine and St. Apollonia stand on 
each side.^ It recalls the best manner of Parmigiano in style and colour, 
and is about the same date (1537). 

St. Januakius {Ital. San Gennaro; Fr. Saint Janvier) is the great 
patron of Naples and protector of the city against the eruptions of 
Mount Vesuvius ; as such he figures in the pictures of the Neapolitan 
school, and in pictures painted for the churches of Naples. 

The legend relates that he was bishop of Benevento ; and, in the 
tenth persecution, he came with six of his companions to Naples, to 
encourage and comfort the Christians : they were seized and carried to 
Fuzzuoli, and there exposed to the wild beasts in the amphitheatre ; bat 
the beasts refused to touch them. Then St. Januarius was thrown into 
a burning fiery furnace, and came out of it unharmed ; finally he was 
beheaded (Sept 19. a.d. 303). 

In the devotional figures he is represented in the robes and mitre of a 
bishop, holding his palm, with Mount Vesuvius in the background. 

The miraculous preservation of the city of Naples when menaced by 
torrents of lava, is a frequent subject in the churches there. 

Domenichino, when at Naples, painted his large fresco of St Janua* 
rius appearing to the Neapolitans during the eruption of 1631. And 
by Spagnoletto I have seen the martyrdom of St Januarius: he is 
thrown into a furnace. Except at Naples I have never met with any 
pictures relating to this saint 

* This St Hilaiy, patron of Forma, who died Jannarj 1 3th, 363, most not be confounded 
with another St. Hilary, bishop of Aries in the fifth ccntary, and not in any waj associated 
with Italy or Italian Art Hilary of Poitiers left behind him writings which have been 
quoted with admiration by Erasmus, Locke, and Gibbon. The latter observes, in his sneering 
way, that Hilary " had unwarily deviated into the style of a Christian philosopher." (** Decline 
and Fall," chap, xxi.) Correggio has given him a countenance full of pensive benignity. 

ST. DENIS. 715 

St. Denis or France ; St. Dionysius the Areopagite. 

LaL Sanctas Dionysius. ItaL San Dionisio or Dionigi. Fr. Saint Denis. Patron saint of 

Prance. October 9. 

The legend which confounds Dionysius the Areopagite with St Denis 
of France (bishop of Paris in the third century) will not bear any cri- 
tical remark or investigation ; but as it is that which presents itself 
every where in Art, I give it here as it was popularly received. 

^' Dionysius was an Athenian philosopher, who, for his great wisdom 
in heavenly things, was named Theosophus, and, being a judge of the 
Areopagus, was also called the Areopagite. He travelled into Egypt to 
study astrology under the priests of that country. Being at Heliopolis 
with his companion, the philosopher ApoUophanes, and studying together 
the courses of the stars, they beheld the heavens darkened, and there 
was darkness over the heaven and earth for three hours ; and Dionysius 
was much troubled in spirit, not knowing what this might signify. He 
knew not then, though he afterwards learned, that this was the darkness 
which fell upon the earth in the same hour that the Kedeemer died for 
our sins, — the darkness which preceded the dawning of the true light. 
And on these things did Dionysius meditate continually. Some time 
after hb return to Athens, St Paul arrived there, and preached to the 
people: and he preached to them the unknown God. Dionysius 
listened with wonder, and afterwards he sought Paul, and asked him 
concerning this unknown God. Then Paul explained all the mysteries 
of the Christian religion, and Dionysius believed, and was baptized in 
the faith. The apostle ordained him priest, and he became the first 
bishop of Athens. 

** Among the writings attributed to this great saint are certain letters, 
in which he tells us that he travelled to Jerusalem to pay a visit to the 
holy Virgin, and that he was struck with admiration and wonder to 


behold the glory which shone around her, and dazzled by the glorious 
company of angels which continually attend upon her. Also the same 
Dionysius tells us that he was present at her death and burial, and he 
has recorded the names of the apostles who were also present on that 

*' Afterwards he returned to Athens, and thence travelled into Italy 
and France, and having joined Paul at Home, he attended him to his 
martyrdom. After that he was sent by Pope Clement, the successor of 
Peter, to preach the Gospel in the kingdom of France. And Clement 
gave him for his companions, to aid him in his labours, a priest, whose 
name was Busticus, and a deacon, who was called Eleutherius. 

** St. Denis (for so the French afterwards called him) arrived at 
Paris, the capital of that country, an exceedingly great and rich city, 
foil of inhabitants, and well provided with all the good things of this 
earth; the skies were bright^ and the lands fertile: ^it seemed to 
Dionysius another Athens.' So he resolved to fix his residence there, 
and to teach these people, who were learned, and happy, and rich in all 
things but those which concerned their salvation, the way of truth and 
righteousness. Therefore Dionysius preached to them the Grospel, and 
converted many. Moreover, he sent missionaries to all the provinces of 
France, and even into Germany. 

** Now you can easily believe that these things were particularly dis- 
pleasing to Satan, that enemy of the human race. He stirred up many 
of the nobles and others {gainst the good bishop, and certain of their 
emissaries accused him to the Emperor Trajan ; but others say it was 
the Emperor Domitian, and that this wicked emperor despatched die 
proconsul Fescennius from Bome to Paris with orders to seize St. 
Denis, and throw him into prison, together with his companions, 
Busticus and Eleutherius. The prefect ordered them to be brought 
before him, and, finding that they persisted in denying and contemning 
his gods, he commanded that they should be dragged forth to death ; 
and being come to the place of execution, Dionysius knelt down, and 
raising his hands and his eyes to heaven, he commended himself to Groi, 
and Busticus and Eleutherius responded with a loud amen. Then the 
venerable and holy prelate Dionysius said to the executioner, * Do thine 
office ; ' and he, being diligent, in a few minutes struck off all their 

ST. DENIS. 715 

heads, and left them there, as was usual, to be devoured bj the wild 
beasts. But the Lord did not forgot his servants, nor was it his will 
that their holy remains should be dishonoured ; therefore he permitted 
a most stupendous miracle, namely, that the body of Dionysius rose up 
on its feet, and, taking up the head in his hands, walked the space of 
two miles, to a place called the Mount of Martyrs (since called Mont 
Martre), the angels singing hymns by the way. Many were converted 
by this great miracle, particularly Lactia, the wife of Lubrius, who, 
having declared herself a Christian, was also beheaded." 

The bodies of St. Denis, of St. Eleutherius, and St. Busticus were 
buried afterwards on this spot, and the first person who raised a church 
to their honour was St. Genevieve, assisted by the people of Paris. In 
the reign of King Dagobert the holy relics were removed to the Abbey 
of St. Denis. The saint became the patron saint of the French mon- 
archy, his name the war-cry of the French armies. The famous ori- 
flamme — the standard of France — was the banner consecrated upon his 
tomb. About the year 754, Pope Stephen IL, who had been educated 
in the monastery of St. Denis, transplanted his native saint to Rome, 
and from this period the name of St Denis has been known and vene- 
rated through all Europe. In the time of Louis le Debonnaire (a.d. 
814) certain writings, said to be those of Dionysius the Areopagite, 
were brought to France, and then it became a point of honour among 
the French legendary writers to prove tlieir St Denis of Paris identical 
with the famous convert and disciple of St Paul ; in which they have 
so far succeeded, that in sacred Art it has become difficult to consider 
them as distinct persons. 

The popular effigies of St Denis, those which are usually met with 
in the French and German prints, in the Gothic sculpture and stained 
glass of the French churches, represent him in his episcopal robes, 
carrying his head in his hand ; sometimes, while he wears his own 
mitred head, he carries also a head in his hand, — which I have heard 
sneered at, as adding the practical blunder of the two heads to the 
original absurdity of the story : but the fact is, that in both instances 
the original signification is the same ; the attribute of the severed head 
expresses merely martyrdom by decapitation, and that the martyr brings 



his head an oiTering to the Church of Christ. Such figures appear to 
have suggested the legends of several headless saints promulgated to 
gratify the popular taste for marvels and miracles. 

Devotional figures of St Denis are not common in the Italian schools, 
and in these I recollect no instance in which he is without his head. 

There is a very fine picture by Ghirlandajo^ in which San Dionigi 
and St. Thomas Aquinas stand on each side of the Virgin : the former, 
a most majestic and venerable figure^ stands in his episcopal robes, 
richly and elaborately embroidered, holding his crosier ; St. Thomas, in 
his Dominican habit as a doctor of theology, holding his book : they 
are here significantly and intentionally associated as two great lights of 
the Church who have both treated especially of the heavenly mysteries 
and the angelic hierarchies. St Clement, who was the spiritual father 
of St Denis, and St Dominic, who stood in the same relation to St 
Thomas, are kneeling as secondary personages. The picture was of 
course painted for the Dominicans. 

The Sicilians have oddly enough mixed up the saint Dionysiua with 
the tyrant Dionysius, and claim him as a saint of their own. There is 
a picture over the high altar of his church at Messina, in which he is 
seated in his episcopal throne, as the superior saint, and surrounded in 
the usual manner by other saints standing. 

Subjects from the life of St Denis are very common as a series, in 
the sculpture and stained glass of the French cathedrals, and in the 
modem restorations of the Cathedral of St Denis : one of the finest is 
the grand window in the Cathedral at Chartres. The separate pictures 
and prints from his legendary story are principally confined to the 
French school. 

1. St. Denis at Heliopolis, seated on the summit of a tower or obser- 
vatory : he is contemplating, through a telescope, the crucifixion of our 
Saviour, which is seen in the far distance. This subject I saw once in 
an old French print ; underneath, in Latin, the verse from Isaiah (xxiv. 
23), Confundetur sol, &c. " Then the moon shall be confounded and 
the sun ashamed, when the Lord of Hosts shall reign on Mount Sion." 

2. St Denis converted by St Paul is a frequent subject in old 
French prints. In Raphael's cartoon of ** Paul preaching at Athens," 

' Florence Acad. 

8T. DENIS. 717 

the figure of the man in front, who, as Sir Joshua says, " appears to be 
thinking all over," is probably Dionysius. 

3. Le Sueur. St. Denis at Borne takes leave of Pope Clement, and 
receives his blessing before he departs on his mission to Paris.' 

4. Joseph-Marie Vien. St. Denis preaching to the Parisians.* 

5. The martyrdom of St. Denis. He is seen walking with his head 
in his hand, and sustained on each side by angels, — "en pareil cas^ as 
the witty Frenchwoman observed, ** ce rCest que le premier pas qui 
coute;^^ nevertheless it must be conceded that the sustaining angels 
greatly diminished the incredibility of the story. 

6. St. Denis, St Maurice, and St. Martin rescue the soul of King 
Dagobert from demons : represented within the Gothic recess over the 
tomb of King Dagobert, on which he lies in effigy, full lengtL The 
story is told in three compartments, one above the other. 1. The 
anchorite John is seen asleep, and St Denis reveals to him in a vision 
that the soul of Eang Dagobert is tormented and in danger ; to the 
right is seen Dagobert, standing in a little boat; demons seize him 
forcibly, and one of them takes off his crown. 2. St Martin, St 
Maurice, and St Denis come to the rescue of Dagobert; they are 
attended by two angels, one of whom swings a censer, and the other 
holds a vase of holy water ; St. Martin and St Denis seize upon the 
soul of Dagobert, while St. Maurice, sword in hand, attacks the 
demons. 3. The three sidnts, attended by angels, hold a sheet 
extended, on which stands the soul of Dagobert in the attitude of 
prayer. The Divine hand appears in a glory above, as if about to lift 
him into heaven. The whole is executed with extraordinary spirit, but 
I should be doubtful as to the date assigned by Le Noir (a. d. 632 — 
645) ; or rather I have no doubt that it is a mistake : the style is that 
of the fourteenth century. 

A very remarkable monument appertaining to St Denis, is a manu- 
script memoir of his life (according to the legend must be understood), 
which exists in the Royal Library at Paris, and which cannot be of 
later date than the year 1322. The miniatures in this beautiful 
manuscript I did not count, but they must have exceeded, I think, a 

» Methuen Coll. ^ Tariii, St. Roch. 

X T 2 


hundred and fifty, drawn with a pen, and slightly tinted ; the figures 
Gothic in taste and feeling, yet with a certain delicacy in the character, 
and a lengthiness in the forms, such as we see in the best Gothic sculp- 
ture of that period. I can only mention here a few of the subjects, 
which from their beauty and peculiarity struck me most. 

1. The Athenians raise to The Unknown God an altar, on which 
Dionysius is in the act of writing the inscription Deo Ignoto. 2. 
Paul preaching to the Athenian philosophers ; in the background the 
altar, to which he points. 3. Paul converts Dionysius and Damans. 
4. Paul consecrates Dionysius first bishop of Athens. 5. Dionysius 
writing his famous treatise on the celestial hierarchy* The nine choirs 
of angels are hovering over him, surmounted by liie Trinity. 6. He 
carries his head (two angels sustaining him on either side) and presents 
it to the Christian woman, here called Catulla : she receives it in a 
napkin. 7. The spirits of the three martyrs (in the usual form of mdced 
infants) are carried into heaven by angels. 

The compositions throughout are superior in spirited and dramatic 
expression, but inferior in purity and grace, to the contemporary Italian 
school — that of Giotto. 

There are several other s^nts who are represented in (xothic Art in 
the same manner as St. Denis, that is, in the act of carrying their own 
heads. In every instance the original meaning of the attribute must 
be borne in mind. 

St. Cheron, bishop of Chartres, was a contemporary and disciple of 
St. Denis. Being on his way from Chartres to Paris, to visit St. Denis, 
he was attacked by robbers, who struck off his head ; whereupon the 
saint, taking his head up in his hands, continued his journey. Hb 
whole history is represented on one of the magnificent windows of the 
Cathedral of Chartres. 

St. Clair, carrying his head, I saw on one of the fine windows of 
St Maclou at Rouen : he was martyred between Rouen and Pontoise 
in the third century. 

St Nicaise {Lat Nicasius), bishop of Rheims^ famous for his success 


in preaching the Gospel^ was besieged in Rheims bj the Vandals, 
A.D. 400, and he went forth attended by his clergy to meet the enemy, 
singing hynms : one of the barbarian soldiers struck off the upper half 
of his head ; nevertheless the saint continued singing his stave until, 
after a few steps, he fell dead. A picture by Jan Schoreel represents 
St Nicasius in his episcopal robes, without the upper part of lus head, 
which, with the mitre on it, he carries in his hand.' 

** St Val6ie, or Siunte Valdre, without her head, wluch she carries 
in her hands, approaches the altar and presents her head to St Martial "* 
I saw this strange subject in a large mosaic in the Studio de^ Moscdci, 
at Rome : it was executed for St Peter's, but some misgiving happily 
prevented it from being placed there* These two saints, patrons of 
Aquitaine, lived in the third century* The legend sets forth that 
Martial was first Bishop of Limoges ; that among his early converts was 
a beautiful virgin, whose name was Valerie ; she refusing to listen to 
the addresses of the Duke de Guyenne, *' il entra en une telle rage 
qu'il luy fit trancher la teste, couronnant sa virginity d'un martyre bien 
signal^, car k la veue d'un chacun elle prit sa teste, et la porta jusques 
au pied de I'Autel ou S. Marcial disect la messe ; le bourreau, la suivant 
pas-^pas, mourut dans TEglise, apr^ avoir clairement protest^ qu^ 
voyoit les anges k Tentour de son corps." I have been thus particular 
in giving this old French legend because the story of St Martial and 
St Valerie appears so frequently in the chased and enamel work for 
which Limoges was famous from the twelfth to the sixteenth century. 
St. Martial did not suffer martyrdom. I have seen him standing in his 
bishop's robes, and St Valerie holding her palm with a streak or mark 
roimd her neck, in some ivory carved work which served as the cover 
of a book ; the whole story is represented on one of the windows of the 
Cathedral of Limoges. 

St. Romain, who was bishop of Rouen in the time of Clovis L, is 
generally considered as the apostle of Normandy. He overthrew the 
heathen temples, and preached Christianity among the Gauls of that 

' Munich Gal. 


district. The Seine, having overflowed its banks, nearly destroyed the 
city of Bouen : St Komain commanded the waters to retire to their 
channel, but from the mud and slime left by the receding flood was bom 
a monstrous dragon, called in the French legend la GargouilUy which 
spread terror along the shores. St. Jlomain went forth against the 
venomous beast, and, by the aid of a wicked murderer, vanquished and 
bound the monster. Hence, down to the time of the Bevolution, it 
was a privilege of the chapter of Kouen to deliver and pardon a criminal 
condemned to death. The whole history of St. Komain is painted on 
the windows of the Cathedral of Kouen, and is commonly met with in 
the Norman churches, and the dragon-legend of the GargouiUe is merely 
the usual allegory so often referred to — the conquest of Christianity 
over Paganism. St. Komain died Oct. 23. 639, and was succeeded by 
Saint Ouen. 

St. Trophime of Aries (whose church is one of the most magnificent 
in all France, and one of the few which escaped destruction in the time 
of the first Kevolution) was the disciple of St. PauL* I mention him 
here because the sculpture of the Cathedral of Aries is celebrated in the 
history of Sacred Art. 

St. Mabtin of Tours. 

LaL Sanctus Martinus. Itah San Martino. Patron of Tours, of Lucca, &c., and of penitent 

drunkards. November 11. a.d. 397. 

This illustrious saint, second to St Nicholas only because confined to 
Western Christendom, is one of those whom the middle ages most 
delighted to honour. There can be no doubt of the extraordinary 
character of the man, nor of the extraordinary influence he exercised 
at the time in which he lived, nor is there any siunt of whom so many 
stories and legends have been promulgated on such high ecclesiastical 
authority, and so universally believed; still, though so generally 
venerated throughout Christendom, he has never been so great a 

' Acts, XX. 4., xxL 29. 


favourite in Italy and Germany as in France^ the scene of his life and 
miracles : we find him, consequently, less popular as a subject of Art 
than many saints who may be considered as comparatively obscure. 

St. Martin was bom in the reign of Constantine the Great, at 
Saberia, a city of Pannonia.^ He was the son of a Roman soldier, a 
tribune in the army, and his parents were heathens ; but for himself, 
even when a child, he was touched by the truth of the Christian 
religion, and received as a catechumen at the age of fifteen ; but before 
he could be baptized he was enrolled in the cavalry and sent to join the 
army in Gaul. Notwithstanding his extreme youth and the licence of 
his profession, St Martin was a striking example that the gentler 
virtues of the Christian were not incompatible with the duties of a 
valiant soldier; and from his humility, his mildness of temper^ his 
sobriety, chastity, and above all, his boundless charity, he excited at 
once the admiration and the love of his comrades. The legion in 
which he served was quartered at Amiens in the year 332, and the 
winter of that year was of such exceeding severity that men died in the 
streets from excessive cold. It happened one day that St Martin, on 
going out of the gate of the city, was met by a poor naked beggar, 
shivering with cold, and he felt compassion for him : and having 
nothing but his cloak and his arms, he, with his sword, divided his 
cloak in twun, and gave one half of it to the beggar, covering himself 
as well as he might with the other half. And that same night, being 
asleep, he beheld in a dream the Lord Jesus, who stood before him^ 
having on his shoulders the half of the cloak which he had bestowed on 
the beggar; and Jesus said to the angels who were around him, 
'* Know ye who hath thus arrayed me ? my servant Martin, though 
yet unbaptized, hath done this I " And St Martin, after this vision, 
hastened to receive baptism, being then in his twenty-third year. 

He remained in the army until he was forty, and then, wishing to 
devote himself wholly to a religious life, he requested to be dismissed ; 
but the emperor (Julian the Apostate, according to the legend) 
reproached him scomfidly, saying, that he desired to be dismissed 
because he wished to shun an impending fight ; but St Martin replied 

' AW Stain in Hungar/. 


boldly, " Place me naked, and without defence, in iront of the battle ; 
then shalt thou see that, armed with the Cross alone, I shall not fear to 
encounter the legions of the enemy." The emperor took him at his 
word, and commanded a guard to be placed over him for the night ; but 
early the next morning the barbarians sent to offer terms of capitulation ; 
and thus to the faith of St Martin the victory was granted, though not 
exactly as he or his enemies might have anticipated. 

After leaving the army, he led for many years a retired and religious 
life, and at length, in 371, he was elected bishop of Tours. One day, 
when preparing to celebrate mass in the cathedral, he beheld a wretched 
naked beggar, and desired his attendant deacon to clothe the man ; the 
deacon showing no haste to comply, St Martin took off his sacerdotal 
habit and threw it himself around the beggar: and that day, while 
officiating at mass, a globe of fire was seen above his head ; and when 
he elevated the Host, his arms being exposed by the shortness of the 
sleeves, they were miraculously covered with chains of gold and silver 
suspended there by angels, to the great astonishment and admiration of 
the spectators. At another time, the son of a poor widow having died, 
St Martin, through his prayers, restored him to his disconsolate mother. 
He also healed a favourite slave of the proconsul who was possessed by 
an evil spirit; and many other wonderful things did this holy man 
perform, to the great wonder and edification of those who witnessed 
them. The devil, who was particularly envious of his virtues, detested 
above all his exceeding charity, because it was the most inimical to his 
own power, and one day reproached him mockingly that he so soon 
received into favour the fallen and the repentant; and St Martin 
answered him sorrowfully, saying, " Oh 1 most miserable that thou art! 
if thou also couldst cease to persecute and seduce wretched men, if thou 
also couldst repent, thou also shouldst find mercy and forgiveness through 
Jesus Christ!** What peculiarly distinguished St. MaCrtin was his 
sweet, serious, unfailing serenity ; no one had ever seen him angry, or 
sad, or gay ; there was nothing in his heart but piety to God and pity 
for men. He was particularly distinguished by the determined manner 
in which he rooted paganism out of the land. Neither the difficulty of 
the enterprise, nor the fury of the gentiles, nor his own danger, nor the 
superb magnificence of the idolatrous temples, had any power to daunt 



or to restrain him. Every where he set fire to the temples of the false 
gods, threw down their altars^ broke their images. The complete 
uprooting of heathenism in that part of Graul is attributed to this pious 
and indefatigable bishop. The demons agidnst whom he waged this 
determined war made a thousand attempts to terrify and to delude him ; 
sometimes appearing to him as Jupiter^ sometimes as Mercury, and 
sometimes as Venus or Minerva ; but he overcame them all. 

In order to avoid the great concourse of people who crowded around 
him, he withdrew to a solitude about two miles from the city, and built 
himself a cell between the rocks and the Loire. This was the origin of 
the celebrated monastery of Marmoutier, one of the greatest and richest 
in the north of Christendom. 

While St Martin was inexorable in breaking down the altars of the 
heathens, he appears to have opposed himself to some of the superstitions 
of the people. In the neighbourhood of Tours there was a little chapel 
in which the people worshipped a supposed martyr. The saint, believing 
their worship misplaced, went and stood upon the sepulchre, and prayed 
that the Lord would reveal to him who was buried there. Suddenly he 
beheld a dark spectral form, of horrible aspect, standing near ; and he 
said, " Who art thou ? " and the shade replied that he was a robber, 
who had been executed there for his crimes, and was now suffering the 
torments of hell. 

Then St. Martin destroyed the chapel, and the people resorted to it 
no more. 

Among the innumerable stories related of St Martin, there is one 
which ought to be noted here as an admirable subject for a picture, 
though I am not aware that it has ever been painted. On some occasion 
the emperor invited him to a banquet, and, wishing to show the saint 
particular honour, he handed the wine-cup to him before he drank, 
expecting, according to the usual custom, that St Martin would touch 
it with his lips, and then present it respectfully to his imperial host ; but, 
equally to the astonishment and admiration of the guests, St Martin 
turned round and presented the brimming goblet to a poor priest who 
stood behind him ; thus showing that he accounted the least of the 
servants of God before the greatest of the rulers of the earth. From 

VOL. II. u u 


this incident, St. Martin has been chosen as the patron siunt of drinkingy 
and of all jovial meetings. 

Also the empress, whose name was Helena, and who was the daughter 
of a wealthy lord of Caernarvonshire, entertained him with great honour* 
It was somewhat against his will, as he avoided all converse with 
women, but she clung to his feet, and would not be separated from him, 
washing them with her tears. She prepared for him a supper^ she alone, 
allowing no other service ; she cooked the viands herself, she arranged 
his seat, offered the water for his hands^ and while he sat at meat she 
stood immovable before him, according to the custom of menials. She 
poured out the wine, and presented it to him herself, and, when the 
repast was over, she collected the crumbs that had fallen from his table, 
preferring them to tlie banquet of the emperor. This story also would 
be a most picturesque subject 

After governing his diocese in great honour for nearly thirty years, 
and having destroyed many temples and cut down many groves dedicated 
to the false gods, the blessed St. Martin died, and many heard the songs 
of the angels as they bore his soul to paradise. 

From the hour that he was laid in the tomb he became an object for 
the worship of the people. The church dedicated to him in Rome (San 
Martino-in-Monte) existed within a hundred years after his death ; and 
when St Augustine of Canterbury first arrived in England, he found 
here a chapel which had been dedicated to St Martin in the middle of 
the fifth century, and in this chapel he baptized his first converts. 

In the single devotional figures St Martin is always represented in 
his sacerdotal, never in his military, character. When it is necessary 
to distinguish him from other bishops, he has a naked beggar at his feet, 
looking up with adoration. In the old French ecclesiastial sculpture 
and stained glass, he has frequently a goose at his side. This attribute 
alludes, 1 believe, to the season at which his festival was celebrated, the 
season when geese are killed and eaten, called with us Martinmas-tide, 
which used to be solemnised in France, like the last day of carnival, as 
a period of licensed excess.^ 

' We have in England about 1 60 churches dedicated to 6t Martin. 

170 St. Uinln. (Hiitln 3eho«.) 

The famous subject called " La Charity de St. Martin," or, in 
English, " St Martin dividing hie cloak," is sometimes devotionallj, 
sometimes historically, treated. 

It is a devotional subject when the act of charity is expressed so 
simply, and with so few accessaries, that it is to be understood not so 
much as the representation of an action, but rather as a general symbol 
of this particular form of charity : " I was naked, and ye clothed me." 
I will cite, as an instance of this religious sentiment in the treatment, a 
picture by Corotto, which I remember over one of the altars in the 
church of St Anaetaeia at Verona. The sunt, in military attire, but 
bare-headed, and with a pensive, pitying air, bends down towards the 
poor beggar, who has, in his extremity, already wrapped one end of the 
mantle around his naked shivering body — while St. Martin prepares to 
yield it to him by dividing it with bb sword. There is.nothing here of 


U Cluk. (Frenck UloUitar*. lUO.) 

the heroic self-complacency of the aunt in Vandyck's picture ; bat the 
expression is bo calm, so simple — the benign humility of the ur W 
countenance is in such affecting contrast with the prancing steed and 


panoply of war, that it is impossible not to feel that the painter must 
have been penetrated by the beauty and significance of the story, as 
well as by the character of the saint. 

The femous picture by Vandyck at Windsor is a striking instance 
of the historical treatment in style and conception. Here St Martin, 
a fine martial figure wearing a cap and feather, brilliant with youth and 
grace, and a sort of condescending good-nature, advances on his white 
charger, and turning, with his drawn sword, is in act to divide his rich 
scarlet cloak with a coarse squalid beggar, while a gipsy-looking 
woman^ with black hair streaming to the winds, holds up her child to 
receive the benediction of the saint. It is said that Vandyck has here 
represented himself mounted on the white charger which Rubens had 
presented to him : certwrily the whole picture glows with life, animated 
expression, and dramatic power ; but it is wholly deficient in that deep 
religious feeling which strikes us in the altar-piece of Carotto, and leaves 
an impression on the memory not trivial nor transitory ; — 

** Whence grace, throng^ which the heart may understand. 
And vows, that hind the will, in silence made ! ** 

The Other incidents in the life of St. Martin are less peculiar and 
attractive, and are not often met with separately. The miracle of the 
globe of fire, called " La Messe de Saint Martin," was painted by Le 
Sueur for the abbey of Marmoutier. It is a composition of fifteen 
figures. St. Martin stands before the altar; he is characteristically 
represented as of low stature and feeble frame, but with a most divinely 
expressive face ; the astonishment in the countenances of those around, 
particularly of a priest and a kneeling woman, is admirably portrayed, 
without interfering with the s^ntly calm of the scene and place. ^ 

'^ St Martin raising the dead Child," by Lazzaro Baldi, is in the 
Vienna Gallery. " The Slave of the Proconsul healed," is the subject 
of a coarse but animated composition by Jordaens : St. Martin is in full 
episcopal robes — the possessed man writhing at his feet — the lord of 
the slave, attended by his falconer, is seen behind watching the per- 
formance of the miracle.* 

' LouYre. Ecole Fran9ai8e. * Brussels Gal. 


On a certain occasion St. Martin appeared before the Emperor 
Yalentinian^ who, at the approach of the holy man, did not show due 
respect by rising to receive him ; whei'eupon the chair on which he sat 
took fire under him, and forced him to rise. This rather grotesque 
incident I have seen represented, I think, at Assisi. 

A series of subjects from the life of St. Martin often occurs in the 
French stained glass of the thirteenth and fourteenth century. We 
find it at Bourges, at Chartres, at Angers, and others of the old French 
cathedrals. In the San Francesco at Assisi there is a chapel dedicated 
to him covered with beautiful frescoes from his life — many of them, 
unhappily, in a most ruined state. In the first, he appears as a youth 
before the Koman emperor, and is enrolled as a soldier in the Bomaa 
cavalry ; in the second, he divides his cloak with the beggar ; in the 
third, he is asleep on his bed, and Christ appears to him in a vision, 
attended by four angels ; in the fourth, he is ordained by St. Hilary. 
The rest I could not well make out, but the figures and heads have 
great expression and elegance. These frescoes are attributed to 
Simone Memmi. 

St. Eloy. 

Lat Sanctns Eligius. Eng. St. Loo. Ital Sant' Aid or L6, Sant* Eligio. Patron of Bologna, 
of Nojon ; of goldsmiths, locksmiths, blacksmiths, and all workers in metal ; also of farriers 
and horses. Dec. 1. a.d. 659. 

St. Elot was born of obscure parents In the little village of Cbatelas. 
He was first sent to school at Limoges, and afterwards bound apprentice 
to a goldsmith of that city. His progress in the art of design, and in 
chasing and working in gold, was so rapid, that he soon excelled his. 
master. He then went to Paris, where his talents as a worker in metal 
introduced him to the notice of Bobbo, treasurer to Clotaire II. About 
this time it happened that King Clotaire desired to have a throne 
overlaid with gold and set with precious stones', but he knew not to 

* Or a saddle. See Maitland's ** Dark Ages/' p. 81., for the story of St. Eloy refusing to 
take oaths. 

ST. BLOT. 729 

whom to entrust the execution of a work which required not merely 
skill, but probity. The treasurer introduced Eloy to the king, who 
weighed out to him a quantity of gold sufficient for the work ; but Eloy 
constructed, with the precious materials entrusted to him, not one throne, 
but two thrones ; and with such wonderful skill that the king was filled 
with admiration for the perfection of the work, yet more for the probity 
of the workman, and thenceforth employed him in state affairs. In a 
word, he seems to have been much in the same circumstances as those 
of George Heriot at the court of our King James. The successor of 
King Clotaire, Dagobert, also held him in the highest esteem, and 
appointed him Master of the Mint It appears that Eloy cut the dies 
for the money coined in these two reigns ; thirteen pieces are known 
which bear his name inscribed. After the death of Dagobert, Eloy was 
so much distinguished by the holiness and purity of his life that he was 
thought a fit successor to the Bishop of Noyon, and he was consecrated 
at Kouen in the third year of Clovis II. 

Afler he had attained to this high dignity, Eloy was not less 
distinguished than before for his humanity, his simplicity, and his 
laborious life. Out of a vast number of sermons and homilies composed 
for his flock, many remain to this day ; and as he was remarkable for 
his eloquence and his power over the minds of the people, he was sent 
to preach the Gospel to the idolaters of Belgium^ and it is even s^d that 
he was the first to carry the Gospel to Sweden and Qenmark. 

In the midst of all these labours and hardships, and joumeyings to 
and fro, he still found time for his original and beloved vocation ; but, 
instead of devoting his labour to the formation of objects of vanity and 
luxury, he employed himself upon the shrines of the saints and the holy 
vessels of the church. Thus he decorated with wonderful skill the 
tombs of St Martin and St Denis ; and executed moreover the shrines 
of St. Germain, St. Quentin, St Genevieve, and many others. Also 
he decorated with precious utensils the church of St. Columba ; but soon 
afterwards, some robbers having carried off these riches, the inhabitants 
ran in haste to implore the assistance of St. Eloy. He immediately 
went to the church, and kneeling down in the oratory of the patron 
saint, he thus addressed her in a loud voice, '^ Hearken, Columba, to my 
words. Our Redeemer commands that forthwith thou restore to me 



the jewels of gold which have been taken from this church, for otherwise 
I will close up the entrance thereof with thorns, so that henceforth thou 
shalt be no more honoured or served within these walls.** Of course 
the saint delayed not, but caused the thief to restore the jewels. 

Like all holy men of that time, St Eloy 
was much beset by the persecutions of the 
arch-enemy. On one occasion, when the 
pious artist was troubled by him in the midst 
of his work, he took his tongs out of the 
fire and seized the demon by the nose. The 
same story is told of our Saxon saint Dun- 
stan. On another occasion a horse was 
brought to him to be shod which was pos- 
sessed by a demon, and kicked and plunged 
so violently that all the bystanders fled in 
dismay ; but St Eloy, no whit discomfited 
by these inventions of Satan, cut off the leg 
of the horse, placed it on his anvil, fastened 
on the shoe leisurely, and then, by making 
the sign of the cross, replaced the leg, to 
the great astonishment and edification of the 

In single figures and devotional pictures, 
St. Eloy is sometimes represented in the 
short tunic and secular dress of an artisan, 
but more generally in the robes of a bishop, 
with a book or a crosier in one hand, and a 
hammer or tongs in the other ; or the ham- 
mer, an anvil, a pair of bellows, or other 
implements of smith's work, lie at his feet 
There is a very famous picture of him 
in the Strada del Orefici at Genoa, painted 
by the Genoese, Pelegrino Piola, in which he is represented as 

173 St. EI07. (Statue; Or-S«n- 
Michele at Florence.) 

' This legend is represented in bas-relief on the pedestal of his statue, in one of the niches 
of the exterior of Or-San-Michele at Florence. It was execnted in marble by Nanni di Banco, 
of the school of Donatello, and dedicated by the guild of Blacksmiths about 1420i 

8T. ELOY. 781 

the patron sidnt of the craft ; Napoleon gave orders that it should be 
sent to Paris, but was so firmly resisted by the company of goldsmiths, 
that he allowed it to remain. In an ancient statue in the cathedral at 
Senars, St. Eloy in the habit of a smith, wearing a small cap, a leathern 
apron tied round his neck, and with a hammer in his hand, stands beside 
his anvil, on which lies a horse's leg. He is here the patron saint of 
blacksmiths. As one of the patrons of Bologna, he is frequently 
represented in the Bologna pictures. There is a picture by Innocenzio 
da Imola, in which St Eloy (or Alo) figures as pendant to St. Petronius : 
the legend of the demoniac horae is seen in the background.* 

The scenes from his life are not unfrequent. 

1. St. Eloy, employed in chasing a cup, is seated in front, an assistant 
behind. (In an old print.') 

.2. St. Eloy for^ng a piece of work in presence of King Dagobert ; 
his assistant blows the bellows. (In an old print.) 

3. In an altar-piece by Botticelli, St Eloy stands as bishop. In the 
predella underneath he is seen at his forge, and on his anvil the horse's 
leg : Satan, in female attire, stands near him.' 

4. St Eloy seizes the demon by the nose (who is here in the form of 
an " impudica femina^^), and shoes the possessed horse: by Cavedone, — 
a fine picture, notwithstanding the grotesqueness of the subject* 

5. St Eloy, in his workshop, presents a beautiful shrine to King 
Dagobert; painted for the company of goldsmiths by Empoli. The 
painter has given to King Dagobert and his goldsmith the costumes of 
Francis I. and Benvenuto Cellini.* 

6. St. Eloy had once a heaven-sent dream. He dreamed that he 
saw the sun eclipsed in the beginning of his course, and the moon and 
three bright stars reigned in the heavens. The moon was eclipsed in 
her turn, and the three stars approached the meridian — but lo ! one of 
them was hidden from sight; soon afterwards a second disappeared; 
but the third shone out with increasing splendour. This dream fore- 
shadowed the fate of the royal family. Clovis II. died young; his 
queen Bathilde, after reigning for ten years as regent, followed him ; 

' Berlin GaL 280. * Bartsch, toI. ix. p. 146. ■ Fl. Acad. 

* Bologna, Mendicantl * Fl. Acad. 



two sons died successively ; the third, Thiery, reigned in prosperity. 
This vision I have found in an old French print ; St. Eloy is in bed, 
an angel draws the curtain, and points to the skies where the sun is 
seen eclipsed.* 

St. Lambert, bishop of Maestricht, and St. Hubert, bishop of 

Lidge, are important personages in the Flemish and German works of 


St. Lambert, who lived in the distracted time of the later 

Merovingian kings, was distinguished by his efforts to keep his 

Christian community together, and to alleviate as far as possible the 

horrible tyrannies, lawless oppression, and miseries of that dark period. 

He had, however, dared to remonstrate with Pepin d'Heristal (then 

Maire du Palais^ under, or rather over^ the weak Childeric) on his 

attachment to his beautiful mistress Alpaide, the grandmother of 

Charlemagne. A relation of Alpaide revenged the interference of the 

bishop after the manner of that barbarous time ; surprised him in his 

dwelling near Maestricht, and slew him, as he knelt, unresisting, with his 

arms extended in the form of a cross, to" receive the stroke of death. 

He is thence honoured as a martyr, and is represented in the episcopal 

dress, bearing the palm, with a lance or javelin at his feet. 

It is related of St Lambert, that, when he was only an acolyte, he 

brought burning coals in the folds of his surplice to rekindle die 

incense before the altar, — a poetical allegory to express the fervour of 

his piety. I saw this story in a picture in the church of St. Bavon at 

Ghent. A good picture of the Martyrdom of St Lambert by Carlo 

Saraceni is in the S. Maria delF Anima, Rome. St. Lambert keeps 

his place in the English reformed calendar. (Sept 17. a.d. 709.) 

St. Hubert, a far more celebrated saint, has, on the contrary, been 
banished from our English calendar. He was a nobleman of Aquitaine^ 
who lived for some years in the court of Pepin d'Heristal, — a court, as 
we have seen, not remarkable for severe morality. Here Hubert 

1 *' The church of Darrastoii in Dorsetshire is named in his honour, and his legend is 
sculptured over the doorway." {Calendar of the Anglican Church,) 

ST. HUBERT. 783 

abandoned himself to all worldly and sinful pleasures, but more 
especially to the chase, which he sometimes pursued on the days set 
apart by Holy Church for fasting and for prayer. 

One day in the Holy Week, when all good Christians were at their 
devotions, as he was hunting in the forest of Ardennes, he encountered 
a milk-white stag bearing the crucifix between his horns. Filled with 
awe and astonishment, he immediately renounced all the sinful pursuits 
and vanities to which he had been addicted. At first he turned hermit 
in that very forest of Ardennes which had been the scene of his former 
wickedness; afterwards, placing himself under the tutelage of St. 
Lambert, he was ordained priest, and for twenty years distinguished 
himself by a life of the most edifying piety ; finally he became bishop of 
Li^ge; and died Nov. 3. 727. 

The forest of Ardennes, which we can never bring before the fancy 
but as a scene of romance, was at this period the haunt of robbers, and 
the inhabitants of the neighbourhood were still heathens and idolaters. 
St Hubert appears to have been one of those ecclesiastics who, in the 
darkest of the dark ages, carried not only religious discipline but social 
civilisation into the depths of the forests; and whose effigies were 
anciently represented, sometimes with wild animals, as wolves and 
bears, around them, showing that they had extirpated savage beasts and 
savage life, as in the pictures and statues of St Magnus ; sometimes 
with the stag bearing the crucifix, which among the antique symbols 
either expressed piety or religious aspiration in a general sense, or the 
conversion of some reckless lover of the chase, who, like the Wild 
Huntsman of the German ballad, had pursued his sport in defiance of 
the sacred ordinances and the claims of humanity. In this latter sense 
it was anciently applied, till, realised in the fancy of the people, the 
instructive* allegory became an actual miracle or a wondrous legend; 
as in this story of St Hubert, and that of St. Eustace, who is often 
confounded with him. 

According to his own desire, St. Hubert was buried first in the 
church of St Peter at Li^ge. Thirteen years after his death his body 
was disinterred in presence of Carloman, king of the Franks, and found 
entire ; even the episcopal robes in which he had been interred were 
without spot or stain ; and his tomb became famous for the miracles and 

XX 2 


cures performed there. About a century after his death, at the request 
of the Benedictine monks of Ardennea, his body was removed from 
Li(;ge and deposited in their abbey 
church, and St. Hubert became thence- 
forth St. Hubert of Ardennes. The 
emperor, Louis le Debonnaire, then at 
Aix-la-Chapelle, assisted at the trana- 
lation of the relics, and the day was 
long kept as a featiTsl throughout this 
part of Flanders. 

I believe this translation of the body 
of St. Hubert from Li^ge to Ar- 
dennes, and his reinterment in the 
abbey church, to be the subject of an 
old Flemish picture now in the posses- 
sion of Sir Charles E^tlake. It was ■ 
formerly styled the burial of St. 
Thomas & Becket, — I know not on 
what grounds, for here we find none of 
the attributes of a martyr, nor any of 
the miraculous picturesque circum- 
stances attending the burial of St. 
Thomas & Becket On the altar, 
behind tlie principal group, stands a 
shrine, on which is a little fieure of 

in M. Hulj.ll. (WllhBlm TOn Kfiln. 13W,) „. ,- , , •,,,., . , . 

»t Hubert with ms hunting-hom, just 
as I have seen him represented in the old French and Flemish carvings. 
The royal personage assisting is probably intended for Louia le 
D^bonnnire. This picture, which is of wonderful beauty, ^nished in 
every part, and the heads like miniature portraits in character and 
delicacy of execution, is attributed to Justus of Crhent (a scholar of 
Hubert van Eyck), and was probably painted about 1474. 

To St. Hubert, aa patron saint of the chase, chapels were often 
erected within the precincts of the forest, where the huntsman might 
pay his devotions to his favourite saint before he began his favourite 
sport. As he was also the patron saint of dogs, we often find them 

ST. HUBBBT. 786 

introduced into pictures of him: bread blessed at his shrine was 
considered as a holy charm against the hydrophobia. 

In the devotional figures so frequent in the old French and Flemish 
churches, St. Hubert is represented in his episcopal habit, with a book 
in one hand and a hunting-horn in the other; or the stag, with the 
crucifix between its horns, stands at his side ; or, more rarely, he holds 
the breviary horizontally in his hands, and on it stands the miraculous 
stag. (173) Where St. Hubert as bishop bears the hunting-horn, I 
believe he must be considered as the patron saint of the military order 
of St. Hubert, instituted in 1444 by Gerard, duke of Guelders; the 
knights bear as their insignia a golden cor-de-chasse. It is necessary to 
distinguish carefully between the hunting-horn and the drinking-horn : 
a bishop with a drinking-horn in his hand represents St. Cornelius, and 
the attribute of the horn is merely in allusion to his name ; he was 
bishop of Rome in the third century.* 

The vision of the miraculous stag is styled ** The Conversion of St. 
Hubert : " and here it becomes necessary, but sometimes difficult, to 
distinguish him from St Eustace. We must bear in mind that 
St Hubert seldom (as far as I know, never) appears in Italian Art, 
while St Eustace seldom appears in Northern Europe ; St. Hubert 
wears the dress of a hunter, St Eustace that of a Roman soldier. He 
will be found among the Warrior Saints. 

The sketch (174), from a beautiful miniature in the " Heures 
d'Anne de Bretagne," will give an idea of the manner in which the 
conversion of St Hubert is generally represented. The angel who 
files towards him, bearing the stole in his hand, is intended to show 
that he exchanged the life of a hunter for that of an ecclesiastic In 
the French legend it is related that when '* Monseigneur Saint 
Hubert " was consecrated bishop, an angel brought down from heaven 
the stole with which he was invested. 

The most celebrated example, however, is the rare and exquisite 
print of Albert Diirer, so well known to collectors. St Hubert is 

' The horn was nsed in ancient times to hold the consecrated oil : it was then called the 
Horn of Sacrament, and in the pictures of St. Cornelias may have a religions significance. 


kneeling, in the hunting costume of the fifteenth century, with his horn 
and couteau-de-cbasse suspended at his side, and wearing the furred 
cap and the knightly spurs; his horse ia near him, and his panting dogs 


in the foreground. On a wooded eminence stands the visionary hart^ 
with the crucifix between his horns. This celebrated composition^ 
having no title, has sometimes been styled St. Eustace ; but I believe 
that in the French and German works of Art the subject may be 
understood to refer to the legend of St. Hubert the Hunter; in 
Italian pictures^ it is generally St Eustatius.^ 

In our National Gallery are two pictures from the story of St. 
Hubert. 1. H]# conversion by the miraculous stag. 2. The angel 
descending with the stole.' 

Among the early Spanish bishops, St. Leandeb and St. Isidobe^ 
two brothers who were successively bishops of Seville, and became the 
patrons of the city, are found represented in the pictures of the Seville 
schooL Both these saints were chiefly distinguished as the determined 
opponents of Arianism in Spain. St. Leander is styled the ^^ Apostle 
of the Goths ; " St Isidore, the " Egregius Doctor of Spain." 

In the dissensions between the Catholics and the Arians, Hermen- 
gildus, son of King Leovigild^ relinquished the Arian faith, and was 
put to death by his father : he has been regarded as one of the famous 
martyrs of Spain. The arms of the city of Seville exhibit St 
Ferdinand, king of Castile and Leon, on a throne with St Leandro on 
one side, and St Isidore on the other. And, in the pictures of Roelas 
and Herrera, we often find the princely martyr, St Hermengildo, 
attended by the two bishops; or sometimes St Justa and St. Rufina, 
St Leander and St Isidore, the four patrons of Seville, are in the same 

Among the chefs-cTaBuvre of Murillo, are counted the San Leandro 

* The life of St. Hubert, in a series of eight bas-reliefs, has been lately executed by Wilhcm 
Geefs, a Belgian sculptor of great reputation, for the shrine in the church of St. Hubert in 
Ardennes. Thej are designed with much poetic feeling in the picturesque style of the early 
Renaissance. There are fine casts in the Crystal Palace (No. 109 , French Court) ; and for a 
full description, see the Handbook to the Modem Sculpture, p. 41. 

' These arc attributed to the Muistcr von Werdcn (252.). In another picture by the 
same old German (250.) St. Hubert is attired as bishop, ^ith the stag on his book. 


and the San Isidoro^ each enthroned, robed in white> and wearing their 
mitres^ — noble and characteristic heads, now in the Cathedral at 
Seville. The masterpiece of Roelas is the fine picture of the death of 
S. Isidore {el Transito de San Isidaro), where he is expiring on the 
steps of the altar, after dividing his substance among the poor : and the 
masterpiece of Herrera is the apotheosis of St. Hermengild, where, after 
his martyrdom, the Gothic prince is seen carried into glory, arrayed in 
a cuirass of blue steel and a red mantle, and holding a cioss. St. Isidore 
stands on the left, St Leander on the right; and the son of Hennengild, 
a beautiful fair-haired boy, is gazing rapturously upwards, as his sainted 
father mounts to heaven.* 

The other Spanish bishops who are most remarkable as subjects of 
Art — for example, St. Ildefonso, St Thomas of Villanova, &c, — 
belonged to the regular Monastic Orders.* 

* For a farther account of these pictures, see Mr. 8tir1hig*8 ** Annals of the Artists in 
Spain." He thus describes the death of St. Isidore : *' Clad in pontifical robes and a dark 
mantle, the prelate kneels in the foreground expiring in the arms of a group of yenerabie 
priests, whose snowy hair and beards are finely relieved by the youthful bloom of two 
beautiful children of the choir, who kneel beside them ; the background is filled up with the 
far-receding aisle of the church, some altars, and a multitude of sorrowing people. At the 
top of the picture, in a blaze of light, are seen our Lord and the Virgin enthroned on 
clouds." He adds : ** For majesty of design, depth of feeling, richness of colour, and the 
various beauty of the headH, and for the perfect mastery which the painter has displayed in 
the use of his materials, this altar-piece (in the church of St Isidore at Seville) may be 
ranked amongst the greatest productions of the pencil ;** and he compares it with Domenicfaino's 
** Communion of St Jerome " in the Vatican. Juan de las Roelas was one of the earliest and 
greatest painters of the Spanish school. I cannot but remember that a most admirable and 
interesting picture by Roelas was sold in the Soult collection for less than one half of the 
sum which the former (not the present) managers of the National Gallery thought fit to give 
for a coarse, bedaubed, fifth- rate Titian. For the story of Hermengild, see Gibbon, c 37. 

' See ^ Legends of the Monastic Orders.* 



St. Paul, St. Anthony, and the Hebmits op Syeia and Egypt in the 

3d and 4th Centuries. 

Amongst the most interesting, most picturesque, most ima^native 
productions of the early ages of Art, are the representations of the 
Hermits of the Desert Every one who has looked at pictures recog- 
nises at once the image of their chief and leader, St Anthony the 
abbot, with his long white beard, his crutch, his bell, and his pig : but 
we must look back to the contemporary state of society, and to a most 
curious and most interesting period of Church history, to comprehend 
the large circle of suggestive association which such effigies^ however 
rude in themselves, may excite in the thinking mind. 

Towards the end of the third century, the Roman Empire, though it 
still held together, was fast crumbling to dissolution. It was in a state 
analogous to that of the decrepid human frame when we say it is 
breaking up ; the vital ftmctions go on for a time, but weak and inter- 
mitting ; — neither potions nor physicians can do more than postpone 
the evil hour. 

The throes of the perishing Colossus were, however, fearful. A 
glance at the countries which composed the vast heterogeneous mass of 
the Koman Empire will show us rottenness and corruption at the centre, 
and utter disorganisation towards the extremities. In the distant 
governments there was no security for life or for property: wars, 
famines, tyrannies, had desolated the provinces. The religious per* 
secutions which had broken out in the days of the last heathen emperors, 
and the dissensions caused by that very religion which preached peace, 
added to the horrors of the time. 

In this state of things, the promises of the Millennium had seized on 
the imaginations of the Christians. Many of them believed that the 
end of the world was near, that there was no help for man in his fellow 
man, nor profit in the labour of his hands; — no good anywhere, no hope, 
no rest, no peace, but in heaven. 



In the i)er8ecution under the Emperor Decius, Paul of Thebes, a 
Christian youth of noble family, terrified less by the tortures which 
were threatened, than by the allurements which were tried, to induce 
him to deny his faith, fled to the desert to the east of the Nile ; and, 
wandering there alone, he found a cavern, near to which was a date- 
tree and a fountain of clear water, and he chose this for his dwelling- 
place, eating of the fruit of the date-tree, drinking from the stream 
which bathed its roots, and, when the raiment which he wore had fallen 
to rags, clothing his wasted frame in a sort of mat formed of the pahi>- 
leaves woven together. • 

Thus he lived for the space of ninety-eight years, far from the haunts 
of men, and having, in all that time, only casual communication, and at 
long intervals, with his kind. But it was the Divine will that his long 
penance, and his wondrous virtues, as they were then deemed, should 
be made known for the edification of men, through the medium of 
another saint even more renowned, the blessed St. Anthony. As Paul 
is regarded as the founder of the anchorites or solitary hermits, so 
Anthony is regarded as the founder of the Cenobites, or hermits living 
in communities : in other words, the founder of Monachism. Under 
his immediate disciple, Pachomius, the first cloister was erected in an 
island surrounded by the Nile. Hilarion, a native of Gaza, in Pales- 
tine, who had been sent by his parents to study philosophy at Alex- 
andria, was also converted by St. Anthony, and became the founder of 
the first monastery in Syria : Basil, his disciple, founded the first in 
Asia Minor. Jerome, who had visited Anthony in his desert, carried 
the fashion into Italy and Gaul ; and thus, Monachism, which originated 
in the hermit-life in Egypt, spread, in a short time, over the whole of 
Eastern and Western Christendom. 

The hermits were at first bound by no very strict rules. They took no 
vows ; and many wandered about in companies, mingling with the people ; 
like certain modem fanatics, they held in scorn all human learning, and 
founded their notions of orthodoxy on some obscure feeling of what 
was, or was not, true piety. Thus, while they turned away the exercise 
of human intellect and reason from all objects of utility, from all ele- 
vating, all strengthening purposes, their traditional theology shut out all 


improyement, all research ; and their ignorant enthusiasm, if it some- 
times assisted, oflen endangered^ the progress of religion. To them the 
laws of the state presented no barriers ; they did not acknowledge the 
authority of the civil magistrates ; they united to their religious fanati- 
cism a cynical indifference to the social duties and the proprieties of 
life. Such was the state of Monachism in its commencement, from the 
middle of the fourth century down to the great monastic reformation, 
and the institution of the first regular order of monks by Benedict, in 
the middle of the fifth century. In reading the stories which are 
related of these solitaries, it is sometimes with feelings of disgust, some- 
tiroes with pity, sometimes not without a sense of amusement, at their 
childish absurdities. But, in the midst of all this, we are not seldom 
charmed by instances of sincerity and self-denial, and by pictures of 
simplicity and tranquillity of life, intermingled with beautiful and 
poetical parables, which, when reproduced in the old works of art, 
strongly interest the imagination. 

St. Anthont and St. Paul, Hermits. 

ItaL Sant' Antonio Abbate, or V Eremita. Fr, St Antoine TAbbe. Ger. Der Hdlige Anton, 

or AntonioB. Jan. 17. a.d. 357. 

" Anthony was bom at Alexandria in Egypt ; his parents died when 
he was only eighteen, and left him with a noble name, great riches, and 
an only sister, whom he loved tenderly ; but from his childhood he had 
been of a melancholy, contemplative disposition ; and now that he was 
left master of himself, with power and wealth, he was troubled by the 
fear of the temptations of the world, and by the burthen of the responsi- 
bilities which his possessions imposed upon him. 

<< One day, as he entered into a church to pray, he heard these words : 
* Every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, 
or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall 
receive a hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life.' ^ And he left 
the house of God sad and disturbed ; and while he was yet meditating 

' Matt xiz. 29. ; Acts, iy. 32. 
XT 2 


on their import, on another day he entered into another church, and at 
the moment he entered the priest was reading these words : ' If thou 
wilt be perfect, go and sell all thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou 
shalt have treasure in heaven.'' Anthony received this repeated 
admonition as a warning voice from heaven ; and he went forthwith, 
and dividing his hereditary possessions with bis sister, he sold his own 
share, distributing the money to the poor; and then, with no other 
raiment than what he wore at the time, and with his staff in his hand, 
he departed from the city, and joined a company of hermits, who had 
already fled from the persecutions of the heathen and the corruptions of 
the time, and who lived in community, but in separate cells. 

** Here he dwelt for some time in great sanctity and rigid self-denial ; 
and observing the lives of the hermits around him, he thought to attain 
perfection by imitating from each the virtue for which he was most 
distinguished, — the chastity of one, the humility of another, the silent 
devotion of a third. He would pray with him who prayed, fasted with 
him who mortified his body, and mingled contrite tears with him who 
wept. Thus he united in himself all their various merits, and became 
even in his youth an object of admiration and wonder and reverence 
to all. 

" But the sight of such amazing virtue and sanctity was naturally 
displeasing to the enemy of mankind, who had sagacity enough to foresee 
that the example of this admirable saint would lessen his own power in 
the world, and deprive him of many votaries ; therefore he singled him 
out as an object of especial persecution, and gave him over to his demons 
to be tormented in every possible way. They began by whispering to 
him, in the silence of his cell, of all that he had sacrificed for this weary 
life of perpetual rigour and self-denial ; they brought to mind his noble 
birth, his riches, and all that riches could obtain, — delicate food, rich 
clothing, social delights. They pictured to him the fatigue of virtue, 
the fragility of his own frame, the brevity of human life ; and they sang 
to him in sweetest accents, * While thou livest, enjoy the good things 
which have been provided for thee.' The saint endeavoured to drown 
these promptings of the devil in the voice of prayer ; — he prayed till 

> Matt xix. 21. 


the drops stood on his brow, and at length the demon ceased to whisper 
to him, but only to have recourse to stronger weapons ; for, seeing that 
wicked suggestions availed not, Satan nused up in his sight the sensible 
images of forbidden things. He clothed hb demons in human forms ; 
thej spread before Anthony a table covered with delicious viands ; they 
hovered round him in the shape of beautiful women, who, with the 
softest blandishments, allured him to sin. The saint strove against this 
temptation with all his might, and prayed, and conquered. But, in his 
anguish, he resolved to flee yet further from men and from the world ; 
and, leaving the company of the hermits, travelled far, far away into the 
burning desert, and took up his abode in a cave, whither, as he hoped, 
Satan would not follow to molest him. He fasted more rigorously 
than ever; ate but once a day, or once in two or three days; slept on 
the bare earth, and refused to look upon any living creature. But not 
for this did the cruel demon relax in his persecution. As he had already 
tried in vun the allurements of appetite and pleasure, so now he thought 
to subdue the saint by the influence of pain. Spirits in hideous forms 
pressed round him in crowds, scourged him, tore him with their talons, * 
chased him from his cell ; and one of the hermits he had left behind, 
who was wont to carry him food, found him lying on the sands senseless, 
apparently dead. Then he flung down the food he had brought, and 
taking the miserable sufferer in his arms, he carried him to one of the 
cells, where, afler a long time, he was restored to his senses and 

" But no sooner had Anthony opened his eyes, and beheld around 
him his sympathising brethren, than he closed them again, and desired 
to be taken back to his cave ; which was done, and they laid him on 
the ground and left him^; and Anthony cried out and defied the 
demon, saying, ' Ha ! thou arch-tempter I didst thou think I had fled ? 
lo, here I am again, I, Anthony I I challenge all thy malice I I spit 
on thee I I have strength to combat still I ' When he had said these 
words, the cavern shook, and Satan, rendered furious by his discomfiture, 
called up his fiends, and said, ^ Let us now affright him with all the 
terrors that can overwhelm the soul of man.* Then hideous sounds 

' See, in the Berlin Gallerj (1198), a strange grotesque picture by Jerome Bosch ; but in 
the catalogue the monks are styled demons. 


were heard; lions^ tigers, wolves, dragons, serpents, scorpions, all 
shapes of horror, * worse than fancy ever feigned, or fear conceived,' 
came roaring, howling, hissing, shrieking in his ears; scaring him, 
stunning him ; — but, in the midst of these abominable and appalling 
shapes and sounds, suddenly there shone from heaven a great lights 
which fell upon Anthony, and all these terrors vanished at once, and he 
arose unhurt and strong to endure. And he said, looking up, ' O 
Lord Jesus Christ 1 where wert thou in those moments of anguish ? " 
And Christ replied, in a mild and tender voice, * Anthony, I was here 
beside thee, and rejoiced to see thee contend and overcome. Be of good 
heart ; for I will make thy name famous through all the world.* 

" So he was comforted ; but he resolved to go yet farther from all 
human intercourse, all human aid ; and he took his staff and wandered 
forth, and as he traversed the desert he saw heaps of gold and vases of 
silver lying in his path ; but he knew full well they were the delusions 
of Satan ; he would not look upon them, but turned his eyes away, and 
lo 1 they dissolved into air. 

" And Anthony was thirty-five years of age when he shut himself up 
in the cavern, in which he dwelt for twenty years. During all that 
time he never saw nor was seen of any : and when at last he reappeared, 
it was plainly perceived that miraculous comfort and aid had been 
granted to him ; for he was not wasted by the fasts he had endured, nor 
was he pale of cheer, though he had scarcely seen the sun in all that 
time; nor was he changed, except that his hair was white^ and his 
beard of venerable length. On the contrary, he was of a mild and 
serene aspect, and he spoke kindly words to all; and consoled the 
afflicted ; and healed those who were sick ; and expelled demons (who^ 
we are told, after their signal defeat, held him in such awe and terror, 
that his very name was sufficient to make them flee) ; reconciled those 
who were at feud; and preached to all men the love of God, and 
abstinence, and purity of life : and multitudes were so convinced by his 
example and his eloquence, that they retired to the desert, and became 
his disciples, living in caves hollowed out of the sandy hills, and in the 
ancient tombs ; and at one time there were more than five thousand 
hermits assembled round him, and he performed many wonders and 
many miracles in the desert 



. 4 

.^sTv^^SX'"-'"^^' "" r,«.^A.,„^„/^.//y:^,,^„^ 


'^ One night, as Anthony sat in his cell, he heard a knocking at the 
door, and, going to see who it was there, he beheld a man of a terrible 
aspect, and of gigantic stature ; and he said, * Who art thou ? ' The 
stranger answered, ' I am Satan, and I come to ask thee how it is that 
thou and all thy disciples, whenever ye stray into sin, or any evil befall 
ye, lay the blame and the shame on me, and load me with curses ? ' 
And Anthony said, *Have we not cause? Dost thou not go about 
seeking whom thou mayst devour, and tempt us and torment us ? And 
art thou not the occasion of fall to many ? ' And the demon replied, 
' It is false I I do none of these things of which men accuse me ; it is 
their own fault; they allure each other to sin; they torment and 
oppress each other ; they are tempted of their own evil propensities ; 
they go about seeking occasion to sin ; and then they weakly lay the 
cause at my door : for, since God came upon earth, and was made man 
to redeem man, my power is at an end. Lo I I have no arms, I have 
no dwelling place, and, wanting everything, can perform nothing. Let 
men complain of themselves, not of me; not I, but they alone are 
guilty.' To which the saint, marvelling at so much sense and truth 
from the lips of the devil, replied, ^ Although thou art called the father 
of lies, in this thou hast spoken the truth ; and even for this, blessed be 
the name of Christ I ' And when Satan heard the holy name of the 
Kedeemer, he vanished into air with a loud cry : and Anthony, looking 
out, saw nothing but the desert, and the darkness of the night 

^^On another occasion, as the hermits around him were communing 
together, there arose a question as to which of all the virtues was most 
necessary to perfection. One said, chastity ; another, humility ; a 
third, justice. St Anthony remained silent until all had given their 
opinion, and then he spoke. ' Ye have all said well, but none of you 
have said aright : the virtue most necessary to perfection, is prudence ; 
for the most virtuous actions of men, unless governed and directed by 
prudence, are neither pleasing to God, nor serviceable to others, nor 
profitable to ourselves.' 

** These are some of the parables and wise sayings with which the 
blessed St Anthony instructed his disciples. 

" And when he had reached the great age of ninety years, and had 
lived in the desert seventy-five years, his heart was lifted up by the 


thought that no one had lived so long in solitude and self-denial as he 
had done. But there came to him a vision in the deep midnight, and a 
voice said to him, * There is one holier than thou art, for Paul the 
hermit has served God in solitude and penance for ninety years.' And 
when Anthony awoke, he resolved to go and seek Paul, and took his 
staff and set forth. As he journeyed across the desert, he met a 
creature half man and half horse, which by the poets is called a 
centaur, and he asked him the way to the cave of Paul, which the 
centaur, who could not speak intelligible words, indicated by pointing 
with his hand ; and farther on, coming to a deep narrow valley, he 
met a satyr ; and the satyr bowed down before him, and sfdd, ' I am 
one of those creatures who haunt the woods and fields, and who are 
worshipped by the blind Gentiles as gods. But we are mortals, as 
though knowest, and I come to beseech thee that thou wouldst pray 
for me and my people, to thy God, who is my God, and the God of alL* 
And when Anthony heard these words, the tears ran down his 
venerable face, and trickled down his long white beard, and he 
stretched out his arms towards Thebes ; and he said, * Such be your 
gods, O ye pagans! Woe unto you when such as these confess the 
name of Christ, whom ye, blind and perverse generation, deny I ' * 

** So Anthony continued his journey all that day and the next ; and 
on the third day, early in the morning, he came to a cavern overhung 
with wild and savage rocks, with a palm-tree, and a fountain flowing 
near, and there he found the hermit Paul, who had dwelt in tliia 
solitude for ninety years. 

''It was not without difficulty, and yielding to his prayers and tears, 
that Paul at length admitted him. Then these two venerable men, 
after gazing for a while upon each other, embraced with tears of joy, 
and sat down by the fountain, which, as I have said, flowed by the 
mouth of the cave ; and Paul asked of Anthony concerning the world, 
and if there yet existed idolaters ; and many other things ; and they 
held long communion together. While they talked, forgetting the 

' St Jerome, in telling this story, adds, that though this apparition of the satyr may appear 
to some to be incredible, yet all the world knows that one of these monsters was brought to 
the Emperor Constaotine, at Alexandria, and that afterwards the body was presenred for the 
edification of those who were corioos in such matters. 


flight of time and the wants of nature, there came a raven^ which 
alighted on the tree, and then, after a little space, flew away, and 
returned carrying in his beak a small loaf, and let it fall between them ; 
then Paul, lifting up his eyes, blessed the goodness of God, and said, 
* For sixty years, every day, hath this raven brought me half a loaf; 
but because thou art come, my brother, lo I the portion is doubled, 
and we are fed as Elijah was fed in the wilderness.' Then there arose 
between these two holy men a contention, out of their great modesty 
and humility, which of the two should break the bread ; at last they 
both took hold of the loaf and broke it between them« Then they ate, 
and drank of the water of the fountain, and returned thanks. Then 
Paul said to Anthony, ' My brother I God hath sent thee here that 
thou mightest receive my last breath and bury me. Go, return to thy 
dwelling ; bring here the cloak which was given to thee by that holy 
bishop, Athanasius, wn^ me in it, and lay me in the earth.' Greatly 
did Anthony wonder to hear these words, for the gift of the cloak, 
which Athanasius had bestowed on him some years before, was 
imkuQwn to all ; but he could only weep, and he kissed the aged Paul, 
and left him and returned to his monastery. And thinking only of 
Paul, for no other thought could enter his mind, he took down the 
cloak, and went forth again, and hastened on hid way, fearing lest Paid 
should have breathed his last breath ere he could arrive at the cave. 
When he was at the distance of about three hours' journey from the 
cavern, he heard of a sudden the most ravishing music, and, looking up, 
he beheld the spirit of Paul, bright as a star, and white as the driven 
snow, carried up to heaven by the prophets and apostles, and a 
company of angels, who were singing hymns of triumph as they bore 
him through the air, until all had disappeared. Then Anthony fell 
upon his face and scattered dust on his head, and wept bitterly, saying, 
' Alas ! Paul, alas I my brother, why hast thou left me ? why have I 
known thee so late, to lose thee so early ? ' And when he had thus 
lamented, he rose in haste, and, with all the speed of which his aged 
limbs were capable, he ran to the cave of Paul, and when he reached it 
he found Paul dead in the attitude of prayer. Then he took him in 
his arms, and pressed him, and wept abundant tears, and recited over 
the cold remains the last offices of the dead ; and when he had done this, 
VOL. ir. z z 


he thought how he might bury him, for he had no strength to dig a 
grave, and it was three days' journey from the convent; and he thought, 
^ What shall I do ? would it might please God that I might lie down 
and die at thy side, O my brother 1 ' And as he said these words, 
behold, two lions came walking towards him over the sandy desert; 
and when they saw the body of Paul, and Anthony weeping beside it, 
they, by thfeir roaring, expressed their sympathy after their manner, 
and they began to dig in the sand with their paws, and in a short time 
they had dug a grave. WTien Anthony saw this, he was amazed, and 
blessed them, saying, * O Lord, without whose divine providence no 
leaf can stir upon the tree, no little bird fall to the ground, bless 
these creatures according to their nature, who have thus honoured the 
(Jead 1 ' — and the lions departed. 

" Then Anthony took the dead body, and, having wrapped it in the 
cloak of Athanasius, laid it reverently in the grave. 

** When these things were accomplished, he returned to his convent 
and related all to his disciples, and not only they believed, but the 
whole Catholic Church ; so that, without any farther testimony, Paul 
has been canonised, and has since been universally honoured as a 


" After this, Anthony lived fourteen years ; and when he was in his 
hundrcd-and-fifth year, he showed to his disciples that he must shortly 
die. And they were filled with the profoundest grief, and fell at his 
feet, and kissed them, and bathed them with tears, saying, * Alas 1 what 
shall we do on earth without thee, Anthony 1 our father, instructor, 
and friend ? ' But he comforted them ; and withdrawing to a solitary 
place, with a few of his monks, he exacted from them a solemn promise, 
that they would reveal to no man the spot in which he was buried : 
then, as they prayed around him, he gently drew his last breath, being 
full of days and good works ; and the angels received his spirit, and 
carried it up to heaven, to taste of bliss eternal Amen 1 ** 

The devotional figures of Paul the Hermit represent him as a man in 
extreme old age ; meagre, half naked, his only clothing a mat of palm- 
leaves, having his legs and anns bare, his beard and hair white and of 
great length. He is generally seated on a rock, in deep meditation. 
There ought to be a palm-tree near him, and a fountain at his feet ; 


but theee are not always attended to. He ib not oftea introduced in tlie 
Madonna pictures, or grouped with other sainta ; but is often a 
solitary figure in a landscape. Sometimes a raven la introduced, bring- 
ing him food ; and then it is necessary to observe the peculiar dreaa of 
interwoven leaves, and the meagre, superannuated look, to distinguish 
the pictures of Paul {Prima Eremita) from those of Elijah in the 
wilderness ; — the hazard, wasted, self-abased 
peaitent, from the majestic prophets 

The most important, and I must add the 
most disagreeable representation I have seen 
of St. Paul the Hermit, is a figure, by 
Spagnoletto, life-size, seated, undraped except 
by a girdle of palm leaves, with a skull at 
bis side : in the background St. Anthony ie 
seen crossing the desert ; and in the ur is seen 
the raven who brought them bread.' 

Devotional figures of St. Anthony occur more 
frequently, and are easily recognised. He baa 
several distinctive attributes, each significant 
of some trait in his life or character, or of the 
sanctity and spiritual privileges popularly as- 
cribed to him. 

1. He wears the monk's habit and cowl, as 
founder of monachism ; it is naually black or 
brown. In the Greek pictures, and in the 
schools of art particularly influenced by Greek 
traditions, the figures of Anthony, besides the 
monkish garb, bear the letter T on the lefl 
shoulder, or on the cope ; it is always blue. 
In Revelations, ziv. 1., the elect, who are 

redeemed from the earth, bear the name of '" i^'"cJ'"*'C'''GliF'i""*'' 
God the Father written on their foreheads ; 

the first letter of the Greek word Tlieoa, God, is T, and Anthony and 
bis monks are represented bearing the T. — " For these are they which 
follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from 


among men^ and in their mouth was found no guile^ for they are with- 
out fault before the throne of God." In a specimen of painted glass 
(from St Denis) a man in a turban or crown marks another with the T 
on the forehead ; three others stand bareheaded^ and over the whole in 
Gothic letters is inscribed, " Signum Tau.** 

2. The crutch given to St Anthony marks his age and feebleness. 

3. The bell, which he carries in his hand, or suspended to his crutch, 
or to a cross near him, has reference to his power to exorcise evil 
spirits. According to Durandus, the devil cannot endure the sound of 
a consecrated belL ^^ It is said that the wicked spirits that be in the 
region of the air fear much when they hear the bells ringen : and this is 
the cause why the bells be ringen when it thundereth ; to the end that 
the foul fiends and wicked spirits should be abashed, and flee, and cease 
from moving of the tempest." When the passing bell tolled in the 
house of death, it was conceived to answer a double purpose ; it adver- 
tised all good Christians to pray for the departing soul, and it scared 
away the demons who were hovering around, either with the hope of 
seizing the liberated spirit as their prey, or at least to molest and impede 
it in its flight to heaven. With great propriety, therefore, is the bell 
placed near St. Anthony, who had so great occasion for it in his own 
person, and was besides renowned for the aid he gave to others in the 
same predicament. 

4. For the same reason, and as an instrument of exorcism, the as- 
perges — the rod for sprinkling holy-water — is put into the hand of St. 
Antfiony ; but it is not peculiar to him, for we find it an attribute of 
St. Benedict, St Martha, and other saints famous for their contests with 
the devil. 

6. I have read somewhere that the hog is given to St. Anthony 
because he had been a swineherd, and cured the diseases of swine. 
This is quite a mistake. The hog was the representative of the demon 
of sensuality and gluttony, which Anthony is supposed to have van- 
quished by the exercises of piety and by Divine aid. The ancient 
custom of placing in all his effigies a black pig at his feet, or under his 
feet, gave rise to the superstition, that this unclean animal was especially 
dedicated to him, and under his protection. The monks of the Order 
of St. Anthony kept herds of consecrated pigs, which were allowed to 


feed at the public charge, and which it was a profanation to stealer 
kill: hence the proverb about the fatness of a '^ Tuntony pig." 

6. Flames of fire are often placed near St. Anthony and under his 
feet, or a city or a house is burning in the background, signifying his 
spiritual aid as patron sidnt against fire in all shapes, in the next world as 
well as in this.^ 

With one or more of these attributes, St Anthony is seen alone, 
or in the Madonna pictures grouped with other saints. I shall give 
a few instances only, for in such representations he is not easily mis- 

1. In an ancient Greek panel-picture of the 12th century ^ St 
Anthony is seen half-length, in the habit of a Greek monk, and wearing 
a sort of coif on his head : with the right hand he gives the benediction 
in the Greek form ; in the left he bears a scroll with a Greek inscrip* 
tion, signifying that he knows all the arts of Satan, and has weapons to 
oppose them. 

2. Col' Antonio del' Fiore. St Anthony, seated in a monk's habit, 
with a bald head and very long white beard, holds in one hand a book, 
the other is ndsed in the act of benediction ; two angels, kneeling before 
him, hymn his praise with harp and dulcimer, and two cherubim are 
seen above.' 

3. St Anthony, seated, with flames under his feet A beautiful 
miniature, in the " Heures d' Anne de Bretagne." * 

4. In a print by Albert Durer, St Anthony is seated on the ground, 
reading intently, his face hidden in his cowl ; by his side stands a cross, 
to which is suspended a bell ; in the background the citadel of Nurem- 
berg, which I suppose to be a caprice of the artist This print is 
celebrated for the beauty of the execution, as well as for its fine solemn 

St Anthony reading or meditating in his cell, with the skull and 
crucifix (the general symbols of penitence) beside him, is a common 

* Thus, in the beautiful Madonna by Bonvicino in the Museum at Frankfort, she is attended 
on one side bj St Anthony, the protector against fire, and on the other by St Sebastian, the 
protector against pestilence. 

* £ng. D*Agincourt, pi 86. ' Naples, a.d. 1371. « MS. Paris, Bib. Imp. 


subject; and where there is no attribute peculiarly significant, he niight 
be confounded with St. Jerome : this, however, is seldom the case, and 
in general there is a distinct character attended to. There ought, in 
fact, to be a marked difference between the simple-minded portly old 
hermit Anthony in his long robes, and the acute theological doctor 
doing penance for his learning — emaciated, eager, and half naked. As 
Anthony despised all learning, the book which is often put into his 
hand is less appropriate to him than the other attributes. It must^ 
however, be borne in mind, that a book is given to all the early fathers 
who left writings behind them : and St Anthony is the author of seven 
theological epistles still extant 

With regard to the historical representations, the subject called the 
** Temptation of St Anthony *• is by far the most common. 

In the earlier pictures it is very simply treated : St. Anthony is 
praying in his cell, and the fiend, in shape like a beautiful woman^ 
stands behind him ; the saint appears fearful to turn his head. In the 
later schools, and particularly the Dutch schools, the artists have tasked 
their fancy to the utmost, to reproduce all the foul and terrible shapes, 
all the ghastly and obscene vagaries, which solitude could have en* 
gendered in a diseased and excited brain. Such is the celebrated 
engraving of Martin Schoen, in which St Anthony is lifted up into the 
air by demons of the most horrible and grotesque forms ; such are the 
pictures of Teniers, who had such a predilection for this subject, that 
he punted it twelve times with every variety of uncreated abominations. 
Such are the poetical demoniac scenes of Breughel ; such is the famous 
print by Callot.^ In a picture by Salvator Rosa, a single gigantic 
demon bestrides the prostrate saint like a horrid nightmare. In a 
picture by Bibera, the demon, in female shape, has seized on the bell> 
and rings it in his ears to interrupt his prayers. The description in 
the legend has been closely followed in the picture by Annibal Caracci 
now in our National Gallery. 

I recollect a picture in which St. Anthony is tempted by three beau- 
tiful women, who have much the air of opera-dancers, long and thin^ in 

> Of which the original picture is at Malahide Castle, near Dublin. 


scanty draperies ; one pulls his beard, another twitches his robe> a third 
gazes up in his face ; the miserable sidnt, seated on the ground, with a 
look of intense suffering, and his hands clenched in prayer, seems to have 
set himself to endure : mocking demons fill the air behind 

The locality of the temptation of St Anthony ought to be the inte- 
rior of an Egyptian sepulchre or temple. The legend relates that he 
took refuge in a ruin ; and the painters, unfamiliar with those grand and 
solemn and gigantic remains which would have given a strange sublimity 
to the fearful scene, sometimes make the ruin an old brick house or 
Gothic chapel. 

Other subjects from the life of St Anthony occur less frequently. 

By L. Caracci, we have St Anthony instructing the hermits.* 

The death of St Anthony, surrounded by his monks, is a frequent 
subject Sometimes angels are seen carrying his soul into heaven ; in a 
picture by Bubens, the pig is seen looking out from under the bed of 
the dying saint, — a grotesque accessary, which might well have been 

The legend of the meeting between St Paul and St Anthony has 
been very popular in Art, and a favourite subject Tn convents. It is 
capable of the most beautiful and picturesque treatment I shall give a 
few celebrated examples* 

1. Pinturicchio. Paul and Anthony divide the loaf which is brought 
by a raven ; three evil spirits, in the form of beautiful women, stand 
behind St Anthony, and two disciples behind St Paul.* 

2. Lucas V. Leyden. St. Paul and St Anthony (who wears his 
large cowl drawn over his head) are seated in the wilderness ; the raven, 
afler depositing the loaf, flutters along the ground in front: a very 
quaint and curious little picture, full of character.' 

3. Velasquez. St Anthony visits Paul the hermit; he appears 
before the door of the cavern, and craves admittance.^ 

There are in the Berlin Grallery four small pictures (1085 and 1086), 
forming the predella of an altar-piece, and representing the story of 
St. Paul and St Anthony. 

1 Brera, Milan. (39.) * Yatican. * lichtensteiQ Gal^ Vienna. * Madrid GaL 


179 i. Piulud j^ntboaf. (BmuMnd. lUO. BrcrlGil.) 

Ill general, however, there are only the two figures in a solitary 
landscape, which is much more striking ; as in the illustration '> and also 
in a fine picture by Gnido* : the two Uone, or the centaur, are some- 
times introduced into the background. 

4. B. Passari. The death of Paul the hermit ; angels are kneeling 
by, and two lione dig his grave. 

5. St. Anthony coming to visit Paul, finds him dead, lying on a mat, 

< In the original pictare by BinBasorci, tbe satyr and the centaor are teen far off ud 
diminiUiTe in the backgronnd. * Betlin GaL 

8T. ONUPHRinS. 765 

with a skull, a book, and a rosaiy near bim. In the background the 
two lions are digging a grave in the sand. A large engraving, signed 

I have said enough of these celebrated saints to render the subjects in 
which they figure intelligible and interesting. The other hermits of the 
desert who appear in Art are much less popular ; and as thej are gene- 
rallj found grouped together, I shall so treat them. 

St. Onuphrius (Onofrio, Honoftio, Onuphre), a monk of Thebes, 
retired to the desert, far from the sight of men, and dwelt there in a 
cave for sixty years, and during all that time he never beheld one human 
being, nor uttered one word of his mother tongue except in prayer. He 
was unclothed, except by some leaves twisted round his body, and his 
beard and h^r had become like the face of a wild beast In this state 
he was discovered by a holy man whose name was Paphnutius, who, 
seeing him crawling along the ground, knew not, at first, what live thing 
it might be, and was afraid ; but when he found it was indeed a man, 
he was filled with amazement and admiration at so much sanctity, and 
threw himself at his feet. Then the hermit showed him what trials he 
had endured in his solitude, what pains of hunger and of thirst, what 
parching heat and pinching cold, what direful temptations, and how 
God had sent his augel to comfort him and to feed him. Then he 
prayed that Paphnutius would remain to bury him, as his end was now 
approaching ; and having blessed his visitor, he died. So Paphnutius 
took off his own cloak, and having torn it in two pieces, he wrapped the 
body of the holy hermit in one half of it, and laid him in a hole of the 
rock, and covered him with stones : and it was revealed that he should 
not remain there, but depart and make known to all the world the 
merits of this glorious saint and hermit. 

The name and fame of this saint came to us from the East : and he is 
interesting because many convents in which the rule of solitude and 

' Bartsch, xxi 200. There is a good impression in the British Museum. 
VOL. II. 3 A. 


exclusion was rigorously enforced were placed under his protection. 
Everj one who has been at Kome will remember the beautiful Fran- 
ciscan monastery of Sant* Onofrio in the Trastevere^ where Tasso 
breathed his last, and in which he lies buried* 

St. Onofrio is represented as a meagre old man, with long hair and 
beard, grey and matted ; a leafy branch twisted round his loins, a stick 
in his hand. The artist generally endeavours to make him look as 
haggard and unhuman as possible, and I have seen him in some early 
prints and pictures very much like an old ouran-outang, — I must write 
the word, for nothing else could express the unseemliness of the e&gy. 
I have seen him standing, covered with his long hsur, a crown, a sceptre^ 
and gold and silver money lying on the ground at his feet, to express 
his contempt for earthly glory and riches ; as in a Spanish picture once 
in the Louvre. 

St Job (San Giobbe), a smnt who figures only in the Venetian 
pictures with the attributes of St Onofrio, and who has a church at 
Venice, was, I believe, the patriarch of the Old Testament* 

St Moses (San Moise), who is also confined to Venetian Art, was a 
converted robber, who turned hermit 

St. Ephrem of Edessa was a hermit of Syria, who, on account of 
some homilies and epistles of great authority, takes rank as one of the 
Fathers of the Greek Church. He is memorable in Art as the subject 
of a most ancient and curious Greek picture. It represents the ** Ob- 
sequies of St Ephrem ; " in front he lies dead, wept by many hermits ; 
and in the background are seen the caves of the anchorites, some reading, 
some doing penance, others in conversation. In the centre of the picture 
is seen the famous anchorite, Simeon Stylites, who passed thirty years 

> The intercourse of Venice with the East introduced the prophet Joh as a saint into the 
north of Italy. St. Joh was a fayourite patron of hospitals, and particolarlj of lepers. It is 
in this character we find him in the Venetian pictures ; for example, in a beautiful group by 
Bellini, now in the Academy at Venice. 

ST. EPHBBH. 757 

on the top of a pillar^ exposed to all the vicissitudes of the seasons : he 
brought this kind of penance into fashion^ for we find it frequently imi- 
tated. The picture of the Obsequies of St. Ephrem is engraved in 
D'Agincourt's work, and in Pistolesi's Yaticano, and should be consi- 
dered (by those who have these works at hand) with reference to the 
illustration of the hermit-life as I have endeavoured to describe it. 

But the most interesting of all these representations is the great 
fresco in the Campo Santo at Pisa ; and a repetition, with some varia- 
tions, in a small picture in the Florentine Gallery; both by Pietro 
Laurati^ containing, in a variety of groups, the occupations of the 
hermits, with distinct scenes and incidents from the lives of the most 
celebrated among them. In the annexed etching, I have given a sketch 
from this composition. We have — 1. The visit of Anthony to the 
hermit Paul. 2. The death of Paul, and the lions digging his grave. 
3, 4. The temptation of Anthony, first haunted, tormented, and flagel- 
lated by demons ; 5. then comforted by a vision of our Saviour, as in 
the legend. 6. In one place he is beating the demon out of his cave 
with his crutch ; in another, carving wooden spoons. 7. Farther to the 
right is St. Hihrion, riding on his ass ; 8. and by the sign of the cross 
vanquishing a great dragon which ravaged Dalmatia, and commanding 
the beast to leap into the fire and be consumed and destroyed for ever : 
his companion is seen fleeing in terror. 9. On the left, St Mary of 
Egypt receives the sacrament from Zosimus. 10. Demons, in the 
disguise of monks or of women, are seen tempting the hermits ; 11. to 
the right is the story of St Paphnutius and St Onofrio : 12. and when 
Paphnutius, forgetful of the last conunands of Onofrio, defers his retiu*n 
to the monastery, the cell in which he had taken refuge, and the date 
tree, are overthrown by an earthquake. 13. In the lower part of the 
picture, to the left, we have the story of Paphnutius, who, being 
tempted by a beautiful woman, thrusts his hands into the fire; the 
temptress, on this, falls down dead ; but, at the prayer of the saint, is 
recalled to life and repentance, and is seen kneeling as a hermitess in 
the dress of a nun. 14. The other groups express the usual occupations 
of the hermits : 15. the hermit Arsenius, who, before he turned hermit, 
had been the tutor of the emperors Arcadius and Honorius, is weaving 

3a 2 


baskets of pahn-Ieaves ; 16. another is cutting wooden spoons ; another 

In the centre of the picture, is a hermit looking down upon a skull, 
which he is touching with his staff: this figure represents St. Macarius 
of Alexandria, one of the most famous of these anchorites, and of whom 
many stories were current in the middle ages. The figure with the 
skull alludes to one of the most popular and significant of these religious 
apologues : — 

'^ One day, as Macarius wandered among those ancient Egyptian 
tombs wherein he had made himself a dwelling place, he found the skull 
of a mummy, and, turning it over with his crutch, he inquired to whom 
it belonged ; and it replied, ' To a pagan.' And Macarius, looking into 
the empty eyes, said, * Where then is thy soul?' And the head replied, 

* In helL' Macarius asked, ' How deep ? ' And the head replied, 

* The depth is greater than the distance from heaven to earth.' Then 
Macarius asked, *Are there any deeper than thou art?' The skull 
replied, ' Yes, the Jews are deeper still.' And Macarius asked, < Are 
there any deeper than the Jews ? ' To which the head replied, * Yes, 
in sooth I for the Christians whom Jesus Christ hath redeemed, and who 
show in their actions that they despise his doctrine, are deeper stilL'" 

17. The monk, or rather the woman in the disguise of a monk, seated 
in the lower part of the picture, with a child in her arms, represents the 
story of St. Marina: — 

*• A certain man, who had turned hermit, left behind him, in the 
city, his little daughter Marina ; and, after a while, he greatly longed 
to see his child; but fearing that if it were known that he had a 
daughter she would not be permitted to come to him, he disguised her 
in boy's attire, and she came and dwelt with her father, under the name 
of Brother Marinus ; and she grew up, and became an example of piety, 
wisdom, and humility, to all the monks of the convent : and her father 
commanded her strictly, that she should discover herself to no human 

'^ And Marinus, for so she was called, was often sent by the abbot, 
with a waggon and oxen, to a man who lived upon the shores of the 
Bed Sea, in order to bring back things necessary for the convent. 
And it happened that the daughter of this man fell into sin, and, when 


her father threatened her^ she, being instigated by Satan, accused 
Marina of being the father of her child ; and as Marina, in her great 
humility, answered not a word, the abbot, in his indignation and wrath, 
ordered her to be scourged, and thrust out of the gate ; and the wicked 
mother came and put the child into her arms, saying, ' There, as you 
are its father, take care of it.' But Marina endured all in silence ; she 
took the child, she brought it up tenderly outside the gate of the 
convent, begging for it, and living on the alms which were thrown to 
her with grudging and contumely, as to a shameless sinner: and thus 
she lived in bitter but imdeserved penance for many years ; nor was the 
secret discovered till after her death ; and then great was the mourning 
and lamentation, because of the unmerited sufferings of this pure and 
lowly-minded virgin, who, through obedience and humility, had endured 
to the end 1 " * 

St Marina is usually represented with the face of a young and 
beautiful woman, but the dress of a monk, and often with a child in her 
arms or at her feet. The legend is popular at Venice, where there was 
formerly a church dedicated to her. 

I have said enough of these Hermits of Egypt and Syria to lend an 
interest to the pictiu-es in which they are represented. And there is 
one circumstance gravely suggestive to those who look beyond the 
technicalities and historical associations to the moral significance of Art 
There are few of these pictures of the early hermits in which we do not 
find some obscene fiendish horror, or Satan himself in person, figuring 
as an indispensable, or at least important, accessary. There is no need 
to set down all this to pure invention or imposture. That ignorance of 
the natural laws which govern our being and a miserable credulity should 
impute to infernal agency what was the inevitable result of diseased, 
repressed, and misdirected feeling, is a conunon case in the annals of 
religious fanaticism.' The sanctity, so called, which in the absence of 

* The same legend is related of St Theodora. (Bartsch, xx. p. 158.) 

' The contests of Balfour of Barlej with the demon, which Walter Scott has not invented, 

onlj recorded ; and Lather's battle with the yisible arch-fiend in the castle of Wartburg ; 

differ but little from the stories related of the poor haunted hermits of the Egyptian desert iu 

the fourth ccntniy. 


social temptations of every kind peopled the desert with more " devils 
than vast hell could hold/' has its parallel even in our own dajs. For 
myself, I have sometimes looked at the most grotesque of these repre-* 
sentations of Anthony and his compeers with more disposition to sorrow 
than to laughter, for qo doubt the worst abominations to which the 
pencil could give form did not equal the reality — if I may so use the 
word. It may be interesting to add^ that the cells of St. Anthony and 
St. Paul still remain, with the monasteries appended, which are inhabited 
by Coptic monks: they are about 167 miles east of Cairo, in the valley 
called Wadee el Arraba, and the cell of St Paul is about 14 miles to the 
south-east of the cell of St Anthony. 

Leaving, however, these hermits of the East, let us turn to some of 
the anchorites of the West, who did not belong to the regular monastic 
orders, and who, as subjects of Art, are also very suggestive and 
interesting; the most important are St Kanieri of Pisa, St Julian 
Hospitator, St Leonard of Aquitaine, St Giles, and St Genevieve 
of Paris. 

St. Kanieri. 

Itai, San Ranieri. Fr, St. Begnier. Julj 17. A.D. 1161. 

San Baniebi is the patron saint and protector of Pisa, and, except in 
the edifices of Pisa, and in pictures of the Pisan school, I do not 
remember to have met with any representation of him. His legend, 
though confined to the city and its precincts, has become interesting 
from the importance attached to the old frescoes in the Campo Santo at 
Pisa, in which the whole history of his life was painted by Simone 
Memmi and Antonio Yeneziano. These are of the highest importance 
in the history of early Art 

Banieri was bom in the city of Pisa, of the noble family of the 
Scaccieri, about the year 1100 ; and being a young man in the bondage 
of vanity, and addicted to the pleasures of this world, he was on a certain 
day singing and playing on the lyre in company with several beautiful 


damsels. While he sang and plajed a holj man passed that way, who 
turned and looked upon him with pity. And Banieri, struck with 
sudden compunction and shame, threw down his lyre and followed the 
man of God, bewailing his sins and his dissolute life, till he was blind 
with weeping. He embarked for the Holy Land, and at Jerusalem he 
took off his own vestments, and received from the hands of the priests 
the schiavina or slave-shirt, a scanty tunic of coarse wool with short 
sleeves, which he wore ever after, in token of humility ; and for twenty 
years he dwelt a hermit in the deserts of Palestine, performing many 
penances and pilgrimages, and being favoured with many miraculous 

On one occasion, when the abstinence to which he had vowed himself 
was sorely felt, he beheld in his sleep a rich vase of silver and gold 
wrought with precious stones ; but it was full of pitch, and oil, and 
sulphur. These being kindled with fire, the vase was burning to 
destruction — none could quench the flames. And there was put into 
his hands a little ewer full of water, two or three drops of which 
extinguished the flames. And he understood that the vase signified his 
human frame, that the pitch and sulphur burning within it were the 
appetites and passions, that the water was the water of temperance. 
Thenceforward Banieri lived wholly on coarse bread and water. He 
had, moreover, a particular reverence for water, and most of his miracles 
were performed by means of water, whence he was called in his own 
city San Ranieri dell' Acqua. In a Roman Catholic country, St. 
Banieri would now be the patron of temperance societies. This, 
however, did not prevent him from punishing a fraudulent host of 
Messina, who mixed water with the wine he sold his customers, and to 
whom the saint revealed the arch-enemy seated on one of his casks, in 
the shape of a huge cat with bat-like wings, to the great horror of the 
said host, and to the wonder and edification of all believers. Returning 
to his own city of Pisa, after many years, he edified the people by the 
extreme sanctity of his life ; and after performing many miracles, 
healing the sick, restoring the blind to sight, and expelling demons, so 
that the most obstinate were converted, he died, and was by angels 
carried into heaven. 

His body was reverently liud in a tomb within the walls of the 


Duomo, where pictures representing various scenes from his life are 
hung near the altar dedicated to him, but none of great merit, nor older 
than the seventeenth century. 

Being, however, a saint of merely local interest, it is unnecessary to 
say more of San Ranieri. The legend, as I have given it above, is 
sufficient to render the engravings from the Campo Santo intelligible 
and interesting. The three upper compartments contidn — 

1. The conversion of St. RanierL 

2. St. Ranieri embarks for the Holy Land. 

3. He puts on the dress of a hermit. 

4. He has many visions and temptations in his hermit life. 

5. St. Ranieri returns to Pisa. 

6. The detection of the fraudulent innkeeper. 

7. The death and obsequies of the saint. 

8. The miracles of Ranieri afler his death. 

As there is a very accurate account of these celebrated old frescoes 
in Murray's Handbook, and every guide to Pisa, I do not dwell upon 
them further. 

St. Julian Hospitatob. 

ItaL San Giuliano Ospitale. Fr, St Julien THospitalier. Patron saint of travellers ; of 
ferrymen and boatmen; also of travelling minstrels who wander from door to door. 
January 9. a.i>. 313. 

Hebe we have again one of the most celebrated and popular of the 
religious romances of the middle ages. In those days, when the privi- 
leged orders of illiterate hunters and iron warriors trampled and 
tortured at their will man and beast, it is edifying to find in these old 
legends the human sympathies appealed to, not merely in behalf of the 
woman and the serf, the feeble, the sick, and the poor ; but even in 
favour of the dumb creatures ; and that divine Christian precept every 
where inculcated, — 

** Never to blend onr pleasure or our pride 
With suffering of the meanest thing that ieels." 



Count Julian was a nobleman^ who lived in his castle in great state 
and prosperity ; he spent his days in hunting, and his nights in feasting. 
One day, as he was hunting in the forest, he started a deer, and pursued 
it over hill and dale. Suddenly the miserable and affrighted creature 
turned round and opened his mouth and said, " Thou, who pursuest me 
to the death, shalt cause the death of thy father and thy mother 1" 
And when Julian heard these words, he stood still ; remorse and fear 
came over him, and, as the only means of averting this fatal prophecy, 
he resolved to flee from his home. So he turned his horse^s head and 
travelled into a far distant country. 

Now it happened that the king of that country was a munificent and 
a gracious prince, who received Julian with all honour, and entertained 
him in his service. Julian distinguished himself greatly, both at the 
court and in war, so that the king knighted him, and gave him to wife 
a rich and beautiful widow, with whom he lived for some years in great 
happiness, and had well nigh forgotten the terrible prophecy. 

In the meantime the father and the mother of Julian lamented the 
088 of their only son, and they sent messengers everywhere into all the 
Isurrounding provinces in search of him ; and, hearing no tidings, they 
put on the habits of pilgrims, and went themselves in search of their 
lost son. 

And it happened that one night, when Julian was absent at the court, 

they arrived at his castle, and knocked at the gate ; and Basilissa, the 

wife of Julian, who was a good and a pious woman, received them 

hospitably ; but when she learned who they were, she was filled with 

exceeding joy, waited upon them at supper as became a dutiful 

daughter, and yielded them her own bed in which to repose after their 

journey ; and the next morning, at early matins, she went to the neigh- 
bouring church to thank God for this great mercy. In the mean time 

Julian returned, and straightway entered his own chamber, and seeing 
by the imperfect light two people in bed, and one of them a bearded 
man, he was seized with jealous fury, and drawing his sword slew them 
both on the spot. Then rushing out of the house he met his wife, who 
was returning from the church, and he asked her, staring wide in asto- 
nishment, *'Who then are in my bed?" And she replied, ''Thy 
father and thy mother, who have been seeking thee for long years over 
VOL. If. 3 b 


all the world, and I have laid them in our bed.*' And when he heard 
these words, Julian remained as one stupified and half dead. And then 
he wept bitterly and wrung his hands, and said, *' Alas I by what evil 
fortune is this, that what I sought to avoid has come to pass? Farewell, 
ray sweet sister ! I can never again lie by thy side, until I have been 
pardoned by Christ Jesus for this great sin I " And she answered him, 
*^ Nay, my brother, can I allow thee to depart, and without me? Thy 
grief is my grief, and whither thou goest I will go." So they departed 
together, and travelled till they came to the bank of a great river, 
which was often swollen by torrents from the mountains, so that many 
in endeavouring to pass it perished miserably. And there did Julian 
found a cell of penance for himself, and near to it an hospital for the 
l)Oor ; and by day and night, in summer and winter, he ferried the 
travellers across this torrent without fee or reward. 

One night in the depth of winter, when the flood had broken its icy 
bounds, and was raging horribly, he heard, in the pauses of the storm, 
a mournful voice, which called to him across the stream. And he arose 
immediately, and found on the opposite bank a youth who was a leper, 
and who appeared to be dying from fatigue and cold. He brought him 
over the river, and carried him in his arms, and laid him in his own 
bed, notwithstanding that he was a leper ; and he and his wife watched 
by him till the morning. When it dawned, the leper rose up in the 
bed, and his face was transformed, and appeared to them as that of an 
angel of light, and he said, " Julian, the Lord hath sent me to thee, for 
thy penitence is accepted, and thy rest is near at hand," and then 
vanished from their sight Then Julian and his wife fell upon their 
faces and thanked God for all his mercies; and shortly afterwards, 
being full of years and good works, they slept with the Lord. 

The single figures of St. Julian represent him in rich secular attire, 
as a cavalier or courtier, young, with a mild and melancholy expression : 
often he has a hunting-horn in his hand, and a stag is behind him or at 
his feet. To distinguish him from St Hubert, who has the same attri- 
butes, there is generally a river and a boat in the background; but it 
must also be observed, that in pictures of St. Julian the stag ought 


not to have the crucifix between his horns, as in the pictures of St 

The beautiful subject called " The Hospitality of St Julian " repre- 
sents him ferrying travellers over the stream, while his wife stands at 
the door of their house, holding a light The picture by Allori, in the 
Palazzo Pitti, is a chef^<BUvre as regards both painting and expression. 
The bark with the leprous youth has just touched the shore, a man 
stands at the helm, and Julian, with an expression of benign solicitude, 
receives the fainting pilgrim in his arms. In the background, his wife, 
with a light in her hand, appears to be welcoming some poor travellers. 
Here St Julian is arrayed as a hermit and penitent, with a loose gown 
and a venerable beard. The principal figures are rather above 

" The angel guest throws oflf his disguise, and ascends in a glory of 
light ; Julian and his wife fall prostrate." I saw this subject in a picture 
in the Brussels Gallery. 

St Julian slays his father and mother. Ant. della Coma, Cremonese, 

The legend of St Julian Hospitator is often found as a series of 
subjects in ecclesiastical decoration, and in the old stained glass. It is 
beautifully told in a series of subjects on one of the windows of the 
Cathedral of Rouen, presented by the company of boatmen (bateliers- 
p^heurs) of that city, in the fourteenth century. 

St. Leonard. 

ItdL San Leonardo. Fr, St. Leonard, or Lionart. Patron saint of all prisoners, captives 

and slaves. November 6. a.d. 559. 

Hbre we have another beneficent saint. Nothing is more touching in 
these old Christian legends than the variety of forms in which Charity 
is deified. 

St. Leonard was of France. His father held a high ofiSce in the 
palace of King Theodobert, and Leonard himself being well educated, 

* Lanzi. iv. 100. 
3 B 2 


modest, and of a cheerful and gracious presence, the king honoured him 
and greatly delighted in his company. He had been early converted 
and baptized by St. Benignus, and, without giving up hia duties as a 
courtier, fulfilled those of a devout and charitable Christian. He par- 
ticularly delighted in visiting the prisons, and ministering to the pri- 
soners — the Howard of his day ; and those for whom he interceded^ the 
king pardoned. He also devoted great part of his substance. to the libe- 
ration of captives from slavery. The cares and pleasures of a court be- 
coming daily more distasteful to him, he withdrew secretly to a desert 
place near Limoges, and turned hermit, and spent several years in 
penance and in prayer. 

And it happened, that the king going to the chase in company with 
the queen and all his court, she, being suddenly seized with the pangs 
of child-birth, was in great peril and agony, and like to die ; and the 
king and his attendants stood around her in utter affliction and per- 
plexity. When St. Leonard, who dwelt in that vicinity, heard of this 
grief, he prayed to the Lord, and, at his prayer, the queen was relieved 
and happily delivered. The king then presented to St. Leonard a 
I)ortion of that forest land, and he cleared the ground, and gathered 
round him a religious community ; and, after many years spent in works 
of piety and charity, he died there in the year 559. 

St. Leonard is invoked by all those who languish in captivity, whether 
they be prisoners or slaves ; it was also a custom for those who had 
been delivered from captivity to hang up their fetters in the churches or 
chapels dedicated to him : hence he is usually represented with fetters 
in his hand, his proper attribute. He is claimed by the Benedictines as 
a member of their Order, and either wears the white or the black tunic 
fastened round the waist with a girdle ; and sometimes he has a crosier, 
as abbot of the religious community he founded ; but sometimes also he 
wears the dress of a deacon, because, from his great humility, he would 
never accept of any higher ecclesiastical dignity. 

The ancient basso-relievo over the entrance of the Scuola della Caritct, 
at Venice exhibits the effigy of St Leonard standing full-length with 
fetters in his hand, a liberated slave kneeling on each side. This Scuola 
was a confraternity founded for the liberation of prisoners and slaves ; 


and it is inter«Bting to find that in Venice, where, from the commercial 
pursuite of the people, and their perpetual wars with the Turks, impri- 
sonment for debt at home, and slavery abroad, 
became not rarely the destiny of their most distin- 
guished men, St. Leonard was particularly honoured. : 
Among the mosaics in St. Mark's, high up in the I 
transept, to the right of the choir, I found his whole 
story in a series of subjects. 1. He is baptized by ! 
St. BenignuB. 2. He raises water miraculously 
for the thirsty poor. (The common allegory to 
signify Christian inBtnicUon.) 3. He delivers the 
captives, who bring their fetters, and cast them at 
his feet 4. He eaves the life of the queen, who is 
represented in a dying state, under a sort of tent, 
and surrounded by her weeping attendants. 5. He 
founds his monastery. I am unable to 6x the date 
of this mosaic, which is not mentioned in any of the 
Venetian guide-books that I have met with ; but it 
appears to be of the sixteenth century. The groups 
have much dramatic expression. ' °" 

Among the bas-reliefs on the exterior of St. Mark's, the figure of St. 
Leonardo occurs more than once. There is a curious old efEgy of bim 
near the northern entrance. 

"St Leonard, kneeling, presents fetters to the Virgin and Child; 
St Joseph behind : " in a fine composition by Razzi.' 

" St. Leonard, standing in a long white tunic, holds in one hand a 
hook and a crosier as superior of his monastery ; in the other, the fetters 
as usual : " in a curious old pieta, attributed to Buonfigli of Perugia.' 

" St Leonard in the white habit, and holding the fetters, stands with 
St Peter, Mary Magdalene, and Martha ; " painted by Correggio for 
the Oratorio della Misericmdia at Correggio.' 

" St. Leonard, in the habit of a deacon, stands on one side of St 
Lawrence, throned ; on the other side, St. Stephen : " in a picture by 

' Bieno, Pal. ComaniUe. * Fenigis. 

* A Urge picture in Ibe collection of Lord A«liburton. < Fl. Son Lorenzo. 


I found the whole story of St. Leonard in the beautiful illuminations 
of the far-famed Bedford missal^ where he is called St. Lianart The 
group of the fainting queen^ and the king sustaining her in his arms, i» 
particularly graceful. Here the king is named Clovis, and the bishop 
who baptizes St Leonard is St Remy. In other respects the legend, 
as I have given it above, is closely followed.* 

St. Giles. 

LaL Sanctus Egidius. Ital Sant' Egidio. Fr, Saint Gilles or Gil. Sept. 1. A.D. 725. 

This renowned saint is one of those whose celebrity bears no proportion 
whatever to his real importance. I shall give his legend in a few words. 
He was an Athenian of royal blood, and appears to have been a saint 
by nature ; for one day on going into the church, he found a poor sick 
man extended upon the pavement ; St Giles thereupon took off his 
mantle and spread it over him, when the man was immediately healed. 
This and other miracles having attracted the veneration of the people, 
St Giles fled from his country, and turned hermit ; he wandered from 
one solitude to another until he came to a retired wilderness, near the 
mouth of the Rhone, about twelve miles to the south of Nismes. Here 
he dwelt in a cave, by the side of a clear spring, living upon the herbs 
and fruits of the forest, and upon the milk of a hind, which had taken 
up its abode with him. Now it came to pass that the king of France 
(or, according to another legend, Wamba, king of the Goths) was 
hunting in the neighbourhood, and the hind, pursued by the dogs and 
wounded by an arrow, fled to the cavern of the saint, and took refuge in 
his arms ; the hunters, following on its track, were surprised to find a 
venerable old man, kneeling in prayer, and the wounded hind crouching 

* Paris, Biblioth^qae Imperiale. 

' St. Leonard, perhaps for the same reasons as at Venice, has been nmch honoured in 
England. He keeps his place in the English calendar, and wc have about 150 churches 
dedicated to liliu. 

ST. GILES. 769 

at his side. Thereupon the king and his followers, perceiving that it 
was a holy man, prostrated themselves before him, and entreated for- 

The saint, resisting all the attempts of the king to withdraw him from 
his solitude, died in his cave, about the year 541. But the place 
becoming sanctified by the extreme veneration which the people bore to 
his memory, there arose on the spot a magnificent monastery, and around 
it a populous city bearing his name and giving the same title to the 
Counts of Lower Languedoc, who were styled Comtes de Saint-Gilles. 

The Abbey of Saint-Gilles w^as one of the greatest of the Benedictine 
communities, and the abbots were powerful temporal as well as spiritual 
lords. Of the two splendid churches which existed here, one has been 
utterly destroyed, the other remains one of the most remarkable monu- 
ments of the middle ages now existing in France. It was built in the 
eleventh century ; the portico is considered as the most perfect type of 
the Byzantine style on this side of the Alps, and the whole of the 
exterior of the church is described as one mass of bas-reliefs. In the 
interior, among other curiosities of antique Art, must be mentioned an 
extraordinary winding staircase of stone, the construction of which is 
considered a miracle of skill.* 

St. Giles has been especially venerated in England and Scotland. In 
1117, Matilda, wife of Henry I., founded an hospital for lepers outside 
the city of London, which she dedicated to St. Giles, and which has 
since given its name to an extensive parish. The parish church of 
Edinburgh existed under the invocation of St Giles, as early as 1359.* 
And still, in spite of the Keformation, this popular saint is retained in 
our calendar. He was the patron saint of the woodland, of lepers, 
beggars, cripples; and of those struck by some sudden misery, and 
driven into solitude like the wounded hart or hind. 

He is generally represented as an aged man in the dress of a Bene- 

* This staircase, called in the country ** La vis de Saint-Gilles/' was formerly "le bnt dcs 
pelerinages de tons les compagnons-tailleurs de pierre." — Voyages au Midi de la France. 

' There arc 146 churches in Enghind dedicated to St Giles. They are frequently near the 
outskirts of a city or town ; St. Giles, Cripplegate, St. Giles-in- the- Fields, St. Giles, Cam- 
berwell, were all on the outside of London as it existed when these churches were erected, 
and there are other examples at Oxford, Cambridge, &c. (See Parker's Anglican Calendar.) 


dictine monk, a long black tunic with loose eleeres ; and a hind pierced 
hy an arrow is either in his arms or at his feet, 

" Ane Hjnde Mt up beside Sanct Gcill." 

Sometimes the arrow is in his own bosom, and the hind is fawning od 
him.' Sometimes the habit is white in pictures which date euhsequeotly 
to the period when the Abbey of St. Giles became the property of the 
Reformed Benedictines, who had adopted the white habit. 

Representations of St. Giles are seldom met with in Italy, but very 
frequently in early French and German Art.* 

' In our National Gallery, No. 250., there is a fiL-urc of Si. Giles, wenring the black 
Benedictine habit, and with the hind fawning upon him. 

■ It is nac«ssai7 to distinguish between St. Gilee the Hermit, and St. Giles the Franciscan. 
It is the latter nho is represented standing in a tmnsport of religioun ecetiuiy, before Pope 
Gregorj IX. The picture, which was painted by Murillo for the Fnuicisean conTcnt at 
Seville, in now, I bolicre, in England. 


The story of St. Pbocopius is verj- like that of St, Giles. He was 
a Bohemian king, who resigned his crown, and, retiring to a solitude, 
became a hermit. He lived unknown for many jears, till a certain 
Prince Ulrich pursuing a hind through the forest, the creature took 
refuge in the anus of St. Frocopius, and thus he was discovered. St. 
Frocopius and the other Bohemian sainta became popular aa subjects of 
Art when the Emperor Bodolph IL distinguished himself as a patron of 
the fine arts, and drew many paintera from Italy to Frague. To this 
period may be referred the etching by L. Caracci of which I give a 
sketch, and which has sometimes, from the similarity of the attribute, 
been called St. Giles. 

VOL. II. 3 c 


St. GENEVlfeVE OP Pakis. 
Eng. Gar. ItaL Saint GeDOTCTs. Jon. 3. ui. G09. 

The popularity of St. GcnerilTe, as a subject of artistic represeotatioo, 
is almost wholly coafined to Paris and the FrCDch school of Art I 
have met with only two instaDces of the treatment of her atory by 
Italian painters ; yet among the female enthusiasts of the middle agea 
she is one of the most important and the most interesting. 

She was a peasant girl, bom at Nanterre, a little village two leagues 
andahalf from Paris, in the year 421, and in her childhood was employed 
by a neighbouring farmer to keep his sheep. When she was about seven 

ST. GENEVlfeVE. 773 

years old, St Germain, bishop of Auxerre, passing through Paris on 

his way to England, spent one night at Nanterre; the inhabitants 

crowded around him to obtain his benediction ; and among them came 

the parents of la pucelette Genevieve^ already distinguished in the village 

by her graceful piety and humility. St. Germain had no sooner cast 

his eyes upon her, than he became aware, through divine inspiration, of 

her predestined glory. He called her to him, questioned her, and when 

she expressed, with childish fervour, a strong desire to become the 

handmaid of Christ, he hung round her neck a small copper coin marked 

with the sign of the cross, and consecrated her to the service of God. 

ThenceforA did Genevieve regard herself as separated from the world 

and dedicated to Heaven. 

Even while yet a child, many wondrous things are related of her. 

On a certain occasion, her mother, being transported by anger (though 

otherwise a good woman), gave her pious daughter a box on the ear ; 

but in the same moment she was struck blind : and so she remained 

deprived of the sun's light for twenty-one months, until restored by the 

prayers of St Genevieve, who, having drawn wat^r from the well and 

made over it the sign of the cross, bathed her mother's eyes with it, and 

she saw clearly as before. And Genevieve at the age of fifteen renewed 

her vow of perpetual chastity ; remaining, however, still subject to her 

parents, till both were dead. She then betook herself to the city of 

Paris, where she dwelt with an aged kinswoman; and where her 

extraordinary gifts of piety and humility, and, above all, her devoted 

and active benevolence, rendered her an object of popular veneration. 

At the same time there were not wanting those who treated her as a 

hypocrite and a visionary, and much did the holy maiden suffer from 

the slanders and contumelies of the evil-disposed. She had to undergo 

not merely the persecutions of men, but of demons : often, during her 

nightly vigils, the tapers lighted for the service of God were maliciously 

blown out by the enemy of mankind; but Genevieve, not dismayed, 

rekindled them by her faith and her prayers. God never left her in 

darkness when she prayed for light When beset by the fiend she held 

up one of the tapers thus miraculously rekindled, and he fled. On 

another occasion, when she went with a company of pious women to 

pray at the shrine of St Denis, on the road a storm arose which blew 

3c 2 


out their tapers ; but Genevidye holding hers aloft^ it was immediately 
rekindled bj her prayers, or, as some aver, bj an angel who descended 
expressly from heaven for that purpose. 

After being for many years maltreated and condemned by one party 
of her fellow citizens, as much as she was revered and trusted by the 
other, Heaven was pleased to grant a signal and public proof of the 
efficacy of her piety, and to silence for ever the voice of the envious and 

A certain barbarian king, called in the story Attila, king of the 
Huns, threatened to lay siege to the city of Paris. The inhabitants 
prepared to fly, but Genevieve, leaving her solitude, addressed the 
multitude, and entreated them not to forsake their homes, nor allow 
them to be profaned by a ferocious pagan, assuring them that Heaven 
would interfere for their deliverance. The people, being overcome by 
her enthusiastic eloquence, hesitated; and while they remained irre- 
solute, the news was brought that the barbarians, without any visible 
reason, had changed the order of their march, and had withdrawn from 
the vicinity of the capital. The people fell prostrate at her feet ; and 
from this time she became, in a manner, the mother of the whole city. 
In all maladies and afflictions her prayers were required; and many 
miracles of healing and consolation proved the efficacy of her inter- 

When Childeric invested Paris, the people suffered greatly from 
sickness and famine. Genevieve was not only indefatigable in her 
benevolent ministry, but she also, laying aside the habit of the religious 
recluse, took the command of the boats which were sent up the Seine 
to Troyes for succour, stilled by her prayers a furious tempest which 
threatened to overwhelm them, and brought them back safely, laden 
with provisions. When the city was taken by Childeric, he treated 
Genevieve with extreme respect: his son Clovis, even before his 
conversion to Christianity, regarded her with great veneration ; and it 
is related that he frequently liberated prisoners, and pardoned male- 
factors, through her intercession. Moreover, it was through the 
influence of St. Genevieve over the mind of this prince and his wife 
Clotilde that Paganism was banished from Paris, and that the first 

8T. GBNBTlfiTB. 7TS 

Christian church was erected oa the euiuniit of that eminence which has 
unce been consecrated to St Genevieve and known b; her name. She 
died at the age of eighty-nine, and was buried by the side of King 
Clovis and Queen Clotilde. 

In the year 550, St. Eloy executed a magnificent shrine, in which 
her remaioB were enclosed. This abrine, 
doubly interesting and curious, if not 
sacred, was during the Revolution broken 
up, and the relics of the patroness and 
pteserrer of Paris burned publicly in 
the Place dt Grive, 

Among the miracles imputed to St 
Genevieve, was the cessation of a hor- 
rible plague, called the mal ardent, 
which desolated Fans in the reign of 
Louis le Gros ; and on the spot where 
stood the house of St Genevieve, a 
small church, known as Ste. Geneviive 
del Ardents, existed so late as 1747, 
when it was pulled down, and a Found- 
ling Hospital built on the site. The 
present superb church of St Genevieve 
was the Pantheon of tJie Revolution ; the 
painting of the dome, which is in the 
worst possible taste, represents St 
Genevieve in glory, receiving the homage 
of Clovis, Charlemagne, St Louis, and 
Louis XVIII. Au Teste, the classic 
cold magnificence of the whole structure 
is as little in harmony with the character 
of the peasant patroness, as the church 
of the Madeleine with that of the Syrian 
penitent and castaway. 

The most ancient effigies of St Gene-'" «'*'"""»"■ (CoU'ic «rdip.u«. Pui..) 
vifive as patroness of Paris represent her veiled, holding in one hand a 


lighted taper, in the other, a breviary; beneath her feet, or at her side, 
crouches the demon holding a pair of bellows. In this instance, the 
obvious allegory, of the light of faith or holiness extinguished by the 
power of sin, and rekindled by prayer, seems to have given rise to 
the legend. She is thus represented in a graceful statue under the 
porch of St Germain TAuxerrois ; and in general wherever she figures 
among the female saints in the decorative architecture of the old 
French churches. The illustration (181) is from a figure at the 
entrance of the church of St Nicholas at Paris, and sketched on the 
spot. But all the more modem representations exhibit her as the pious 
bergerette of Nanterre, seated or standing in a landscape, with her sheep 
around her, generally with her distaff and spindle, but sometimes with 
a book — though it is nowhere asserted, that the poor shepherdess 
possessed the then rare accomplishment of reading her mother tongue. 
Sometimes she has a basket of provisions on her arm, and holds a loaf of 
bread, in allusion to the miraculous deliverance of Paris. 

Such is the conception in the pictures of Lebrun, Philippe de Cham- 
pagne, Bourdon, Yanloo, Gros, and all the French painters. In the 
picture of Vanloo, St. Genevieve is reading at the foot of a tree ; 
a few sheep and goats are browsing near ; her spindle and sabots are 
lying beside her; the air and dress reminding us irresistibly of a 
French grisette seized with a sudden fit of piety. A charming little 
picture by Watteau exhibits St. Genevieve keeping sheep, and reading 
a volume of the Scriptures which lies open on her knee. This picture 
has all the painter's sweet harmonious colouring and mannered grace ; 
and St. Genevieve here reminds us of one of the learned shepherdesses 
in Sir Philip Sydney's « Arcadia." » 

Lebrun. St. Genevieve kneels, holding her taper ; at her feet, the 
keys of Paris, distaff, sheep, and book ; in the distance the city of Paris, 
and the barbarians dispersed by a storm. 

In the church of St. Etienne du-Mont is a chapel dedicated to her, in 
which they preserve a tomb of solid stonework said to be the same in 
which her remains were originally deposited. When I visited this 
church in 1847, I found the tomb surrounded by worshippers, and 

> Paris, St M^dard. 

ST. OBNEYI^B. 777 

stuck over with at least fifty lighted tapers, the offerings of the poor ; 
while votive pictures in honour of the saint covered the walls. In the 
church of St Germain is a chapel dedicated to her, and painted with 
modern frescoes from her life. 1. She receives, as a child, the blessing 
of St Germain. 2. She harangues the Parisians, and promises them 
aid from heaven. 

In the church of St. Gervais, oyer the altar of her chapel, she is 
represented as restoring sight to her mother. 

In no picture or statue that I have seen, is St Genevieve, the 
patroness of Paris, worthily placed before us. The heroine who twice 
saved the capital of France by her courage and constancy, if not by her 
prayers, who ought to be placed in companionship with Joan of Arc, is 
ill expressed by the mawkish, feeble, or theatrical eflSgies which figure 
in the Parisian churches ; and we have reason to regret that the same 
hand which gave us Joan of Arc, as the woman and the warrior, did 
not leave us also a St Genevieve commanding the storm to cease, or 
pleading the cause of humanity against the barbarian Clovis. 

The legend of St GeneviSve (or Genoveva) of Brabant, must not be 
confounded with that of St Genevieve of Paris. St Genevieve of 
Brabant was the wife of a certain Count Siegfried, who, misled by the 
representations of his treacherous steward, a sort of lago, ordered his 
innocent wife to be put to death. The assassins spared her, and only 
exposed her in the forest, where she brought forth a child, which was 
tended and nursed by a white doe. After some years had passed in the 
savage wilderness, her husband while hunting came upon her retreat ; 
the conscience-stricken steward confessed her innocence and his own 
misdeeds ; was duly put to death, and Genevieve restored to happiness. 
This romantic legend, which has afforded an inexhaustible subject for 
poetry, painting, and the drama, hardly belongs to the domain of 
religious art; but there are beautiful pictures from her history by 
Riepenhausen, Fiihrich, and others of the modern German school. A 


well-known print by Albert Dtirer, sometimes entitled ** St Genevidve 
of Brabant," represents a legend much more ancient and altogether 

Another famous rustic saint is St. Isidore the ploughman (in 
Spanish, San Isidro el Labrador ; and in Italian, Sant' Isidoro Agri- 
cola), the patron of the city of Madrid, and of those who cultivate the 
soil. According to the Spanish legend, he was the son of a poor 
husbandman, and could neither read nor write. He hired himself as 
labourer to a rich farmer, whose name was Juan de Vargas. His 
master was a hard man, and he grudged his poor servant even the time 
spent in his prayers and in works of charity. On a certain day, Juan 
went into the field intending to reprimand his labourer for loss of time 
and neglect of his work. Being come to the field, he beheld with 
great amazement Isidro kneeling at his devotions, while two angels 
were engaged guiding his plough. Thereupon, being struck with awe 
and shame, he turned back to his house and thenceforth dealt leas 
hardly with his pious servant. 

Also it is related, that, his master being on a certtdn day athirst in 
his field, Isidro, taking up the goad wherewith he guided his oxen, 
struck the hard rock, and inunediately there gushed forth a fountun of 
the purest water. And when his little son fell into a well, Isidro, by 
his prayers, miraculously restored him to life. 

St Isidro is still reverenced by the peasantry round Madrid, where 
his festival (May 15th) is kept with great devotion and hilarity. He 
is represented only in the Spanish pictures, wearing the dress of a 
labourer, and sometimes with a spade in his hand: an angel ploughing 
in the background is his proper attribute. 

* See VoL L p. 339. The story of ** The Penance of St. John Chrjsoetom.* 


A saint who is often confounded with St. Genevidve of Pane is St. 
Gddula, patroness of the city of Brussels. She was a virgin of noble 
lineage, her father. Count Wittiger, and her mother, St Ama)aberga, 
who was a niece of Pepin d'Heristal, consecrated her early to the 
service of Christ, and she was educated by her godmother, St. Gertrude 
of Nivelle.' Nothing particular is recorded of St. Gudula beyond the 
singular hoUness of her life and the usual miracles, — except the legend 
of her miraculous lantern. She was accustomed to rise in the middle of 
the night, in order to perform her devotions in the church of Morselle, 
at a great distance. She guided her steps with a lantern, which Satan, 
in bis envy of bo much piety and virtue, frequently extinguished, 
hoping thereby to lead her astray ; but whenever he blew out the light, 
the prayer of the saint rekindled it. 

In the devotional figures, St Gudula bears a lantern, and near it 
hovers a malicious demon, who is trying to blow it out There is a 
beautiful votive picture of this saint by Jan Schoreel ', in which she is 
thus represented, and there are various effigies of her in the splendid 
Cathedral of Brussels, which bears her name. Where she carries a 
lamp or lantern she may be mbtaken for St Lucia.' Her death is 
placed about 712, 

■ See " Legends of tbe Monaslic Order*." * Munich Gal. 

* The picture bj FreTitale in the Berlin G«l, called St. GadaU, is, 1 think, & St. Lncia. 


€f)t Warrior J^a(nts( of Cf)rts(ten)iom^ 

The legendary histories commemorate many hundred military saints 
and martyrs, of whom the far greater number are obscure, known only 
by name, or of merely local interest, but about twenty might be selected, 
as illustrious and popular throughout Christendom, and representing in 
Art the combined sanctity and chivalry of the middle ages. They form 
a most interesting and picturesque group of saints, not only through the 
fine effect produced by their compact martial figures, lucid armour, and 
glittering weapons, when associated with the pacific ecclesiastical siunts 
and melancholy monks; but from the charming and often pathetic 
contrast which the fancy suggests, between the prowess of the warrior 
and the humility of the Christian. 

As an interesting example of the manner in which the military and 
the ecclesiastical saints were not unfrequently combined, as representing 
the Church Militant and the Church Spiritual, we may observe 
the two pictures (evidently part of one altar-piece) recently placed 
in our National Gallery (Nos. 254. and 255.). In the first St. George, 
with the red cross on his shield, stands between the two Fathers of the 
Church, St Gregory and St. Augustine ; in the second St. Maurice, 
with the cross on his breast, stands between the Fathers St. Ambrose 
and St. Jerome.* 

' In the catalogue of the National Gallerj, the two military suints in these pictures bj the 
" Meister von Liesbom " are styled SL Exuperiut and St Hilary, on the authority of Herr 
Kriiger of Minden, from whom they were purchased. St. Exuperius (one of the companions 
of St. Maurice) was honoured in Brabant ; and of St Hilary (or St. Hilier) martyr, a 
French saint, nothing whatever is known but his name, and that he perished by the hands 
of the pagan barbarians about the year 406. Neither of these saints was any where of 
sufficient consequence to represent the Church Militant, in companionship, almost on an 
equality, with the Church Spiritual : this distinction would belong naturally to St. Greorgo 
and St. Maurice, the two great military patron saints of the Western Church, and, as such, 
worthy of being grouped with the four great Doctors of the Western Church. If, however, 
there existed in the abbey of Liesbom, for which these pictures were painted, any relics of 
these obscure saints, it is just possible they might be thus honoured : in any case the signifi- 
cance of the grouping is the same. 


We distinguish between the Greek and the Latin warriors. 

In the Byzantine mosaics and pictures, we find St. George, St. Theo- 
dore, St. Demetrius, and St. Mercurius. The costume is always strictly 
classical ; they wear the breastplate and chlamys, are armed with the 
short sword and lance, are bareheaded, and in general beardless. Of 
St. George I have spoken at length ^ ; in the Greek pictures he appears 
as the patron of Constantinople, and generally in companionship with 
St. Demetrius, the patron of Salonica (who figures in the procession of 
martyrs at Ravenna). Next to Demetrius we generally find St. Mercu- 
rius; these two saints are peculiar to Greek Art, and the legend of 
Mercurius is extremely wild and striking. Julian the Apostate, who 
figures in these sacred romances not merely as a tyrant and persecutor, 
but as a terrible and potent necromancer who had sold himself to the 
devil, had put his officer Mercurius to death, because of his adhesion to 
the Christian faith. The story then relates that when Julian led his 
army agaiAst the Persians, and on the eve of the battle in which he 
perished, St. Basil the Great was favoured by a miraculous vision. He 
beheld a woman of resplendent beauty seated on a throne, and around 
her a great multitude of angels ; and she commanded one of them, saying, 
^' Go forthwith, and awaken Mercurius, who sleepeth in the sepulchre, 
that he may slay Julian the Apostate, that proud blasphemer against 
me and against my Son ! " And when Basil awoke, he went to the 
tomb in which Mercurius had been laid not long before, with his 
armour and weapons by his side, and, to his great astonishment, he 
found neither the body nor the weapons. But on returning to the place 
the next day, and again looking into the tomb, he found there the body 
of Mercurius lying as before ; but the lance was stained with blood ; 
** for on the day of battle, when the wicked emperor was at the head of 
his army, an unknown warrior, bareheaded, and of a pale and ghastly 
countenance, was seen mounted on a whit« charger, which he spurred 
forward, and, brandishing his lance, he pierced Julian through the body, 
and then vanished as suddenly as he had appeared.^ And Julian being 
canned to his tent, he took a handful of the blood which flowed from his 
wound, and flung it into the air, exclaiming with his last breath, * Thou 
hast conquered, 'Galilean ! thou hast conquered!' Then the demons 

' See p. 396. ' Julian was killed bj a jarelio flang by an unknown hand. — GUfbon^ 

3d 2 


received his parting spirit. But Mercurius, having performed the 
behest of the blessed Virgin, re-entered his tomb, and laid himself down 
to sleep till the Day of Judgment." 

I found this romantic and picturesque legend among the Greek 
miniatures already so often alluded to^ where the resurrection of the 
martyr, his apparition on the field of battle, and the death of Julian, 
who is falling from his horse, are represented with great spirit.' 

St. Theodore held a high rank in the armies of the Emperor Lici- 
nius; being converted to Christianity, in his zeal he set fire to the 
temple of Cybele, and was beheaded or burned alive (Nov. 9. a.d. 300). 
His legend was early brought from the East by the Venetians, and he 
was the patron saint of Venice before he was superseded by St. Mark. 
He is represented in armour, with a dragon under his feet; which 
dragon, in the famous old statue on the column in front of the Piazzetta 
at Venice, is distinctly a sort of crocodile, and very like the huge fossil 
reptiles in the British Museum. 

In a very curious old Greek picture of the fourteenth century, two 
St. Theodores are seen on horseback, armed with lances, with glories 
round their heads, and careering at fuU speed.' By the descrip- 
tion we find that one represents St. Theodore of Heraclea, and the 
other St. Theodore Tyro or the younger; the latter is, I believe, 
the patron of Venice, and the same whom we find in the early Venetian 
pictures, young and beautiful, with long dark luur, armed, not as a 
Boman soldier, but as a Christian knight, bearing his sword and palm, 
and generally in companionship with St. George.* 

I found his whole story on one of the magnificent windows at 
Chartres, where he is represented firing the temple of Cybele. 

To which of these two St. Theodores is dedicated the very ancient 
church of San Teodoro at Rome, I am unable to decide ; the figure of 
the saint is there represented in mosaic over the altar, in company with 
St. Peter and St. Paul. 

» Ninth century. Paris Bib., Gr. MSa 510. 

' V. Waagen's ** Kunstwerke und Konstler in Paris," p. 815. It appears, from his descrip- 
tion of these miniatures, that he was not acquainted with the Greek legend. 

■ D'Agincourt, pi. 90. 

* Mosaic, Sacristy of St. Mark*s. In the Crystal Palace at Sydenham are two casts from 
ancient bas-reliefs at Venice, re|>rescnting St. Theodore and St George, both mounted, and 
both combating the dragon. 


The SIX colossal warrior saints^ who stand in the Cathedral of 
Monreale (Palermo) over the arch which separates the choir from the 
nave, as if guarding the sanctuary, are the four Greek soldiers, St 
George, St. Demetrius, St Mercurius, and St Theodore ; and the two 
Roman warriors, St John and St Paul. 

Among the saints who were imported from the Levant by Venice in 
her palmy days, we find St. Menna, a Greek warrior, who was mar- 
tyred in Phrygia, by order of Galerius Maximian (Nov. 11. A.D. 301). 
I have met with but one effigy of this saint ; — a noble figure by Paul 
Veronese, standing in a niche, in complete armour» bareheaded, and 
leaning on his sword. 

In Western Art, the warrior saints, who have been accepted by the 
Latin Church, are sometimes represented in the classical military 
costume ; more frequently in the mail shirt or plate armour of the 
fifteenth century, with the spurs, the lance, the banner, and other 
accoutrements of a Christian knight But sometimes also they wear the 
court dress of a cavalier of the fifteenth century, or of the time the 
picture was painted ; a vest or short tunic, furred or embroidered ; hose 
of some vivid colour, crimson or violet ; a mantle, and a cap and feather ; 
the sword either girded on, or held in the hand, as in the figure of St 
Sebastian, and that of St Proculus.^ 

St George, that universal type of Christian chivalry, stands at the 
head of the Latin as well as of the Greek warriors. Next to him, in 
Italian Art, the Roman St. Sebastian takes the place of the Greek St 
Demetrius. But in French and German Art, the warrior, who is 
usually found as a pendant to St George, is St Maurice. In the 
Coronation of the Virgin, in Prince Wallerstein's collection*, one of 
the most interesting and important pictures ever brought to England, 
five great warrior saints of the West are grouped together in the lower 
part of the composition; they are all in armour, with embroidered 
tunics, and all crowned with laurel, *' meed of mighty conquerors ; ^ 
and these were mighty conquerors in the spiritual as well as the earthly 

■ On one of the old windows in the Cathedral of Cologne we hare the Nativity of onr Lord 
attended by four warriorB, — St. George, St, Maurice, St. Adrian, and St. Gereon. 
' Now at Kensington Palace. 


sense. St. George, conspicuous in front, wears a white tUDic, with the 
red cross on the clasp of his baldrick ; St. Maurice has the large cross 
of the Order of Savoy embroidered in front of his crimson vest ; St. 
Adrian wears a black velvet tunic over his chain armour, and a collar 
composed of the letters a.13.2BlI.a.N.5tt.Sb worked in gold. The 
saint with the. nine balls on the sleeve of his dress, I suppose to be St. 
Quirinus ; the fifth saint, not otherwise distinguished than by his 
armour and his laurel wreath, I suppose to be either the Italian St 
Sebastian, or the German St Florian, probably the latter. Like all 
the other figures in this wonderful picture, each head is finished like the 
most exquisite miniature, and has the look of a portrait frt>m nature. 

St. Maurice. 

Lat Sanctus Mauritius. ItaL San Maarizio. Patron saint of foot -soldiers ; patron of Sa?oj ; 
one of the patrons of Austria, and of the city of Mantua. Sept 22. a.d. 286. 

The legend of St Maurice and the Theban legion is of great antiquity, 
and has been so universally received as authentic, as to assume almost 
the importance and credibility of an historical fact: as early as the 
fourth century the veneration paid to the Theban martjrrs had extended 
through Switzerland, France, Germany, and the north of Italy. The 
story is thus related : — 

Among the legions which composed the Roman army, in the time of 
Diocletian and Maximin, was one styled the " Theban Legion," because 
levied originally in the Thebaid. The number of soldiers composing 
this corps was 6666, and all were Christians, as remarkable for their 
valour and discipline as for their piety and fidelity. This legion had 
obtained the title of Felix ; it was commanded by an excellent Christian 
oflScer, a man of illustrious birth, whose name was Maurice, or Mauritius. 

About the year 286, Maximin summoned the Theban legion from the 
East to reinforce the army with which he was about to march into 
Gaul. The passage of the Alps being effected, some companies of the 
Theban legion were despatched to the Rhine ; the rest of the army 
halted on the banks of the Lake of Geneva, where Maximin ordered a 
great sacrifice to the gods, accompanied by the games and ceremonies 

8T. MAUfilCE. 786 

usual on such occasions. But Maurice and his Christian soldiers with- 
drew from these idolatrous rites^ and, retiring to a distance of about 
three leagues, thej pitched their camp at a place called Aganum (now 
Saint-Maurice). Maximin insisted on obedience to his commands, at 
the same time making it known that the service for which he required 
their aid was to extirpate the Christians, whose destruction he had sworn. 

The Theban legion with one voice refused either to join in the 
idolatrous sacrifice or to be led against their fellow Christians ; and the 
emperor ordered the soldiers to be decimated. Those upon whom the 
lot fell, rejoiced as though thej had been elected to a great honour ; 
and their companions, who seemed less to fear than to emulate their* 
fate, repeated their protest, and were a second time decimated. Their 
officers encouraged them to perish rather than yield; and when 
summoned for the third time, Maurice, in the name of his soldiers, a 
third time refused compliance. " O Caesar 1 " (it was thus he addressed 
the emperor) " we are thy soldiers, but we are also the soldiers of Jesus 
Christ. From thee we receive our pay, but from Him we have received 
eternal life. To thee we owe service, to Him obedience. We are 
ready to follow thee against the barbarians, but we are also ready to 
suffer death, rather than renounce our faith, or fight against our 
brethren." Thus he spoke, with the mild courage becoming the 
Christian warrior; but the cruel tyrant, unmoved by such generous 
heroism, ordered that the rest of the army should hem round the 
devoted legion, and that a general massacre should take place, leaving 
not one alive ; and he was obeyed : if he expected resistance, he found 
it not, neither in the victims nor the executioners. The Christian 
soldiers flung away their arms, and, in emulation of their Divine Master, 
resigned themselves as ** sheep to the slaughter." Some were trampled 
down by the cavalry ; some, hung on trees and shot with arrows ; some 
were killed with the sword ; Maurice and others of the officers knelt down, 
and in this attitude their heads were struck off: thus they all perished. 

Other companies of the Theban legion, under the command of 
Gereon, reached the city of Cologne on the Rhine, where the prefect 
Varus, by order of the emperor, required them either to forsake their 
faith or suffer death ; Gereon, with fifty (or, as others tell, 318) of his 
companions, were accordingly put to death in one day, and their bodies 
were thrown into a pit. And, besides these, many other soldiers of the 


Theban legion BufTered martyrdom for the sake of Christ, bo that their 
names form a long liat. St. Maurice and St. Gereoa are the most 
honoured in Germany. Piedmont, Savoy, and the neighbourhood 
of Cologne abound in saints of the Theban legion.' 

Sl Maurice is usually represented in complete armour ; he bears the 
palm in one hand, and a standard in the 
other. In Italian works of Art, he is 
habited as a Roman soldier, and bears 
the lai^ red cross, the badge of the 
Sardinian Order of St. Maurice, on his 
breast In old German pictures he is 
often represented as a Moor, either in 
allusion to his name or his African origin.^ 

In San-Maurizio at Milan, over the 
altar, we have on the left St. Maurice, 
kneeling, and beheaded, and his com- 
panions standing round ; on the rights 
St. Maurice standing on a pedestal, while 
St. Si^smond presents to him the model 
of the church ; — fine frescoes by Luini. 

In a email full-length figure by Hems- 
kitk, he wears a suit of black armour, 
with a crimson mantle, and bears on his 
shield and banner the Austrian eagle: 
he is here one of the patrons of Austria. 
He stands on the left of the Madonna in 
Mantegna's famous Madonna della Vit- 
toria in the Louvre. He is here one of 
the patrons of Mantua. 

Other saints of the Theban legion, 
venerated through the north of Italy, 
m Si, M«M». (H.u..Mr». ^„ St. Secundus (Asti), St. Alexander' 

(Bergamo), St Theonestus (Vcrcelli), St Antoninus (Piacenza). 

' Hicre are five churches in Englund dcdicared in htmoDr of Si. Maurice. 

' There ia Biicb a picture in the Munich Gal.. Ko. 69. 

' Tliere is a aplcndiil chnrch al Milan dcdicaled lo thii iniliu>7 Sant' Alcssandro. Over 


In the account-book of Guercino^ published by Calvi and Malvasia^ 
we find an entry of 400 ducats received for a picture, ordered by 
Madame Royale of Savoy, " of the Virgin in glory ; and below, three 
"Warrior Saints, wearing on their breast the cross of the Order of St. 
Maurice, who were SS. Aventore, Auditore, and Ottavio," three of the 
companions of St Maurice, mentioned in the legend.^ 

The Martyrdom of the Theban legion is not a common subject, but 
there are some remarkable examples. In the Pitti Palace there is a 
picture by Pontormo, with numerous small figures, exquisitely painted ; 
but the conception is displeasing ; a great niunber of the martyrs are 
crucified, and the figures are undraped. Another picture of the same 
subject, by the same painter, in the Florence Ghillery, is equally un- 
pleasing ^d inappropriate in treatment ; the Christian soldiers are seen 
contending with their adversaries, which is contrary to the spirit and 
the tenor of the legend as handed down to us. In the Munich Gallery, 
upon two wings of an altar-piece by Peter de Mar6s, we have, on one 
side, St Maurice and his companions refusing to sacrifice to idols ; and 
on the other, St Maurice beheaded, while the Emperor Maximin looks 
on, mounted on a white horse: both pieces are very curious and 
expressive, and, though grotesque in the accessaries, infinitely more true 
in feeling than the classical and elaborate pictures by Pontormo.^ 

the high altar is the martyrdom of the saint, and St. Grata receiving the severed head, which 
is offered in a napkin. 

' Turin, in the church of the ^ Gesuiti,** which is dedicated to them. 

' There is a celebrated woodcut hj Albert Diirer, which represents a multitude of martyrs 
suffering every variety of death; some are crucified — some are flung from rocks. At first 
view, this might be mistaken for the martyrdom of the Theban legion ; but it is a different 
story, and represents the massacre of the Christians by Sapor, king of Persia, popularly known 
as the ** Legend of the Ten Thousand Martyrs." 

There is another wild legend of ten thousand martyrs, all crucified together by order of 
the Emperor Adrian, ** on a certain great mountain called Mount Ararat." (See the Legenda 
Aurea.) It is this legend which I suppose to be represented by Carpaccio in a picture now 
in the Academy at Venice, and which is known to collectors by the large wood-engraving in 
eight sheets : it is very fine as a study ; the martyrs are tied to the stems of vast trees in 
grand attitudes, and there are nearly three hundred figures in all (see Vcuari^ Vita di Scot' 
paccia) ; and the same subject I believe to be represented in the two pictures by Pontormo, 
called the Theban Martyrs. Between 1500 and 1520 this extravagant legend appears to have 
been popular. 

VOL. II. 3 E 


St. Gereon also wears the armour, and carries the standard and the 
pahn; sometimes he has the Emperor Maximin under his foot, to 
express the spiritual triumph of faith over tyranny. The celebrity of 
St. Gereon appears to be confined to that part of Germany which was 
the scene of his martyrdom : at Cologne there is a church dedicated to 
him ; and he is frequently met with in the sculpture and stwied glass 
of the old German churches. 

1. In the famous old altar-piece by Master Stephen of Cologne, now 
in the Cathedral, he is standing on one side in a suit of gilt armour and 
a blue mantle, attended by hb companion-martyrs (his pendant on the 
other side is St. Ursula with her companions). 

2. In a fine old Crucifixion by Bartholomew de Bruyn, St. Gereon 
is standing in armour, with his banner and shield, and a votary kneeling 
before him (here his pendant is St. Stephen).* 

3. ** St. Gereon and his Companions ; " in the Moritzkapelle at 
Nuremberg (here his pendant is St. Maurice with his companions). I 
remember no Italian picture in which St. Gereon is represented. 

4. In a Crucifixion by Israel v. Meckenem, St. Ursula stands on one 
side presenting a group of young maidens, and St. Gereon on the 
other. (He is called in the catalogue St. Hippolytus; — a mistake).^ 

St. Longinus. 

ItaL San Longino. Fr. Saint Longin. Sainct Longis. Patron sunt of Mantua. 

March 15. jk.D. 45. 

St. Longinus is the name given in the legends to the centurion who 
pierced the side of our Saviour, and who, on seeing the wonders and 
omens which accompanied his death, exclaimed, ^^ Truly this man was 
the Son of God ! " ' Thus he became involuntarily the first of the 
Gentiles who acknowledged the divine mission of Christ. It is related 
that, shortly after he had uttered these words, he placed his hands, 
stiiined with the blood of our Lord, before his eyes ; and immediately a 
great imperfection and weakness in his sight {i.e. spiritual blindness) 

> Munich GaL * Munich Cabinet, 11. 27. ■ Matt, xxyii. 54. ; Mark, xv. 39. ; John, xix. 34. 


which had afficted him for many years, was healed; and he turned 
away repentant^ and sought the apostles^ by whom he was baptized 
and received into the Church of Christ. Afterwards he retired to 
Caesarea, and dwelt there for twenty-eight years, converting numbers 
to the Christian faith ; but at the end of that time he was seized by 
order of the governor, and ordered to sacrifice to the false gods. 
Longinus not only refused, but being impatient to re'ceive the crown of 
martyrdom, he assured the governor, who was blind, that he would 
recover his sight only after putting him to death. Accordingly, the 
governor commanded that he should be beheaded, and immediately his 
sight was restored; and he also became a Christian; but Longinus 
was received into eternal glory, being " the first fruits of the Gentiles." 

This wild legend, which is of great antiquity, was early repudiated 
by the Church ; it remained, however, popular among the people ; and 
it is necessary to keep it in mind, in order to understand the signi- 
ficance given to the figure of the centurion in most of the ancient 
pictures of the Crucifixion. Sometimes he is gazing up at the Saviour 
with an expression of adoration; sometimes his hands are clasped in 
devotion ; sometimes he is seen wringing his hands, as one in an agony 
of grief and repentance ; and I have seen an old carving in which he 
covers his eyes with his hands, in allusion to the legend. In the 
Crucifixion by Michele da Verona, he is on horseback, and looks up, 
his hands clasped, and holding his cap, which he has reverently 

In the Crucifixion by Simone Memmi, in the chapel de^ Spagnuoli at 
Florence, Longinus is conspicuous in a rich suit of black and gold 
armour, looking up with fervent devotion. 

When introduced into pictures or sculpture, either as a single figure, 
or grouped with other saints, St. Longinus wears the habit of a Roman 
soldier, and carries a lance or spear in his hand. He is thus represented 
in the colossal marble statue which stands under the dome of St. 
Peter's at Rome. The reason of his being placed there, is the tradition, 
that the spear wherewith he pierced the side of our Saviour is preserved 
to this day among the treasures of the Church. 

' Milan, Brera. 
3 E 2 


IM Out SiTlouT telwMD 31. LoDgfniu mi SI. Aodren. (Andrea Uintcgna.) 

Some relics, said to be those of St. Longinua, were brought to 
Mantua in the eleventh century, and he has since been reverenced as 
one of the patron sainta of that city. 

For the chapel dedicated to him in the church of Sant' Andrea, at 
Mantua, Giulio Bomano punted a famous Nativity, in which the saint 
is standing on one side, holding a fix or reliquary, containing a portion 
of the blood of our Saviour, which, according to the tradition, had been 

ST. VICTOR. 791 

preserved by St. Longinus^ and brought to Mantua from the Holy 
Land. This picture, once in possession of our Charles L, is now in the 
Louvre. For the altar-piece of the same chapel, Andrea Mantegna 
painted the Saviour as risen from the tomb, with St Andrew on 
one side, and St. Longinus on the other. (183) In the Madonna della 
Vittoria, painted by Mantegna for Federigo Gonzago, St. Longinus 
stands behind, on the left of the Virgin, in a Koman helmet, and 
distinguished by his tall lance. ^ 

St. Victor. 

ItaL San Yittore. Juljr 21. a.d. 303. 

There are two St. Victors who figure in works of Art 

St. Victor op Marseilles was a Boman soldier serving in the 
armies of Diocletian ; being denounced as a Christian in the tenth great 
persecution, neither tortures nor bribes could induce him to forsake his 
faith. In the midst of the torments to which he was condemned, a 
small altar was brought to him, on which to offer incense to Jupiter, 
and thus save himself from death ; but in the fervour of his zeal he 
overthrew it with his foot, and broke the idoL He was then crushed 
with a millstone, and finally beheaded with three of his companions, 
whom he had converted. At the moment of his death, angels were 
heard singing in chorus, " Vicisti, Victor Beate, Vicisti 1 " 

The reverence paid to this saint is principally confined to France. 
He is generally represented in the dress of a Roman soldier, with a 
millstone near him. I have seen him on one of the windows of Stras- 
burg Cathedral in a full suit of chain armour, with shield and spurs, 
like a knight of romance. 

St. Victor of Milan was also a Roman soldier, and suffered in 
the same persecution. He was a native of Mauritania, but quartered at 
that time in the city of Milan. He was denounced as a Christian, and, 

* Louvre. 


after suffering severe torments, he was beheaded by order of the 
Emperor Maximian. (May 8.) 

This saint is greatly honoured throughout Lombardy, and is the 
favourite military saint in the north of Italy. He is often introduced 
into the pictures of the Milan and Brescian schools ; and is sometimes 
represented as a Moor (** San Vittore-il'Moro **), wearing the habit of a 
Roman soldier. In his church at Milan (which, at the time I visited it, 
was crowded with soldiers) there is a fine picture on the left of the 
high altar, by Enea Salmeggia, representing St Victor as victorious (in 
allusion to his name), mounted on a white horse, which is bounding 
forward. In his church at Cremona, there is a splendid Madonna 
picture, by Andrea Campi, in which St Victor is the principal saint, 
standing victorious, with his foot on a broken altar. According to some 
authorities, this St Victor was thrown into a flaming oven ; and is 
therefore represented with an oven near him, from which the flames are 
issuing ; but I have never yet met with an instance of this attribute. 

St. Eustace. 

LaL SanctuB Enstados. ItaL Sant* Enstachia Fr. St EosUu^e. Sept 20. a.d. US. 

^^ St. Eustace was a Boman soldier, and captain of the guards to the 
Emperor Trajan. His name before his conversion was Placidus, and 
he had a beautiful wife and two sons, and lived with great magnificence, 
practising all the heathen virtues, particularly those of loyalty to his 
sovereign and charity to the poor. He was also a great lover of the 
chase, spending much of his time in that noble diversion. 

" One day, while hunting in the forest, he saw before him a white 
stag, of marvellous beauty, and he pursued it eagerly, and the stag fled 
before him, and ascended a high rock. Then Placidus, looking up, 
beheld, between the horns of the stag, a cross of radiant light, and on 
it the image of the crucified Redeemer; and being astonished and 
dazzled by this vision, he fell on his knees, and a voice which seemed 
to come from the crucifix cried to him, and said, * Placidus ! why dost 
thou pursue me ? I am Christ, whom thou hast hitherto served without 


knowing me. Dost thou now believe?' And Placidua fell with his 
face to the earth, and said, ^ Lord^ I believe I' And the voice answered^ 
saying, ^ Thou shalt suffer many tribulations for my sake, and shalt be 
tried by many temptations ; but be strong and of good courage, and I 
will not forsake thee.' To which Placidus replied, ^ Lord, I am content. 
Do thou give me patience to suffer ! ' And when he looked up again the 
wondrous vision had departed. Then he arose and returned to his 
house, and the next day he and his wife and his two sons were baptized, 
and he took the name of Eustace. But it happened as it was foretold 
to him ; for all his possessions were spoiled by robbers, and pirates took 
away his beautiful and loving wife ; and, being reduced to poverty, and 
in deep affliction, he wandered forth with his two children, and, coming 
to a river swollen with torrents, he considered how he might cross it. 
He took one of his children in his arms, and swam across, and having 
safely laid the child on the opposite bank, he returned for the other ; 
but, just as he had reached the middle of the stream, a wolf came up 
and seized on the child he had left, and ran off with it into the forest ; 
and when he turned to his other child, behold, a lion was in the act of 
carrying it off I And the wretched father tore his hair, and burst into 
lamentations, till remembering that he had accepted of sorrow and trial, 
and that he was to have patience in the hour of tribulation, he dried his 
tears and prayed for resignation ; and, coming to a village, he abode 
there for fifteen years, living by the labour of his hands. At the end 
of that time, the Emperor Adrian being then on the throne, and 
requiring the services of Placidus, sent out soldiers to seek him through 
all the kingdoms of the earth. At length they found him, and he was 
restored to all his former honours, and again led on his troops to 
victory ; and the emperor loaded him with favours and riches ; but his 
heart was sad for the loss of his wife and children. Meanwhile, his 
sons had been rescued from the jaws of the wild beasts, and his wife 
had escaped from the pirates ; and, after many years, they met and 
recognised each other, and were reunited; and Eustace said in his heart, 
' Surely all my tribulation is at an end I ' But it was not so ; for the 
Emperor Adrian commanded a great sacrifice and thanksgiving to his 
false gods, in consequence of a victory he had gained over the Bar- 
barians. St. Eustace and his family refused to offer incense, remaining 


fiteadfaBt in the Cbriatian faiUi. Whereupon the emperor ordered that 
they should be Bhut up id a brazen bull, and a 
fire kiudled under it; and tbua they perished 

There ie Dothing in this legendary romance to 
recommend it, but it has been popular &om the 
earliest times, and is constantly met with in 

In the devotioual pictures, St. Eustace is 
represented either as a Koman soldier, or aimed 
as a knight; near him the miraculous stag. In 
a picture by N. Soggi (a rare master, who lived 
and worked about 1512) he stands armed with 
a kind of mace or battle-axe, and his two sons, 
as boys with palms and glories, stand behind 

The " Conversion of St. Eustace " is only 
distinguished from the legend of St. Hubert by 
the classical or warrior costume. The martyrdoni 
of St. Eustace and fais family in the brazen bull, 
I have frequently met with ; and a series of 
subjects from this legend is often found in the 
stained glass and sculpture of the old French 
i» St. liuiucp. (DomcDichino.) cnthcdrals.* 

St. QiiiRiNus was anotlier Boman soldier, serving under the 
Emperor Aurelian. As he did not hesitate both to profess and preach 
openly the Christian faith, he suffered martyrdom by being dragged to 
death by horses ; his tongue was first tlirown to a hawk. He is re- 
presented in armour, with a horse and a hawk near him, bearing a shield 

' Florence, Pitti Pal. 

' St. EuBtBce has been banished (torn the English Cnlcndor ; there ore, howcTcr, three 
diurches in England dedicated in his name. 


with nine balk, and the pahn as martyr. Of this miUtary saint I have 
met with only one representation, in an old German picture ; where 
he stands in complete armour, bearing the standard, on which are nine 

St. Flobian, one of the eight tutelar saints of Austria, was another 
Koman soldier, who, professing Christianity, was martyred in the reign 
of Galerius. He was a native of Enns, in Lower Austria, and worked 
many miracles : among others he is said to have extinguished a con- 
flagration by throwing a pitcher-full of water over the flames, A 
stone was tied round his neck, and he was flung into the river Enns. 
(May 4.) 

St. Florian is rarely met with in Italian Art, but he occurs fre- 
quently in the old German prints and pictures ; and in Austria and 
Bohemia we encounter him in almost every town and village, standing, 
in a sort of half-military half-ecclesiastical costume, at the corner of a 
street or in an open space, generally marking the spot on which some 
destructive fire occurred or was arrested. I have often found his statue 
on a pump or fountain. He is also painted on the outside of houses, in 
armour, and in the act of throwing water from a bucket or pitcher on 
a house in flames. The magnificent monastery of St. Florian, which is 
also a famous seminary, commemorates the scene and the legend of his 
life and martyrdom. " St. Florian in a deacon's dress, his right hand 
on a millstone, his martyrdom in the background," is described in a 
picture by Murillo.* The costume is, I think, a mistake. 

The legend of St. Hippolytus {Sanf IppoUto Romano\ the friend of 
St. Laurence, I have already given at length, and shall only add, that 
in the fine Coronation of the Virgin in the Wallerstein collection he 

* A St. Qoirinus, bishop of Sissek in Croatia, and martyr (June 4. a.d. 309), is one of the 
eight tutelar saints of Austria ; he was thrown into a river with a millstone roand his neck : 
be figures in Albert Diirer's fine print of the patrons of the Emperor Maximilian. 

* Petersburg, Hermitage. 

VOL. II. 3 P 


stands behind St. Laurence, in armour, and with the head of a Moor or 
Negro : for this peculiarity I find no authority ; there seems to have beeo 
eome confusion in the punter's miud between the Moorish esiots, St. 
Maurice and St. Victor, and St Hippolytus the Roman. 

When we find St. Hippolytus in 
the Bresciau pictures, it is because the 
inhabitants of Brescia claim t« possesa 
his relics. They insist that the body 
of the snint reposes, with that of St. 
Julia, in the convent of Santa Giulia 
in Brescia. There was a fine figure 
of St. Hippolytus, accompanied by 
St. Catherine (St. Julia?), by Morelto 
di Brescia, in the collection of Mr. 
W. Coningham, and probably piunted 
for this convent. 

St. Pbocclus, military protector 
of Bologna, is often found in the 
pictures of that school of Art, and 
sometimes also in the north of Italy. 
This is the only saint, as far as I can 
recollect, of whom an act of violence 
and resistance is recorded. When the 
tenth persecution broke out, a cruel 
officer named Marinus was sent to 
Bologna to enforce the imperial edict; 
and Froculus, more of a Soman than 
a Christian, being moved with indig- 
nation and pity because of the sufier- 
ings of the martyrs, entered the house '** *" 

of Marinus, and put him to death with an axe ' : this axe is usually 
placed in his hand. In some efiSgies he carries a head in both hands; 
' In Ouido'i picture dedicuCed nfter the plague at Bologniw St. Procolua Appcon u a fine 
martial Bgam, with an angel holding (lie axe. (Iiegcnds oTilie Madonnft, p. IDS.) 



~ - ^ — 

whether his own, or that of Marinus, does not seem clear. In the 
Bolognese pictures, San Proculo Vescovo and San Proculo Soldato are 
sometimes found together as joint patrons. 

In a beautiful altar-piece by Don Lorenzo Monaco, St. Proculus is 
represented as a young saint, leaning on a sword, the belt of which he 
holds in one hand. The name is inscribed underneath.* 

The Martyrdom of St. Proculus, by Palma Vecchio, is at Venice, in 
the church of St. Zaccaria. 

St. Quintin, the son of Zeno, held a high command in the Boman 
army, and being converted to the Christian faith, he threw away his 
arms and preached to the people of Gaul, particularly at Amiens and in 
the country of Belgium; but being denounced before the prefect 
Bictius Varus, he suffered a cruel martyrdom. He is represented in 
armour, and his proper attribute is an iron spit on which he was impaled ; 
but this is often omitted : he is famous in the old French and Flemish 
ecclesiastical decorations, but so rare in Italian Art that I can remember 
no example. 

The last of these military saints who may be considered of sufficient 
importance to require a detailed notice, is St. Adrian, illustrious 
throughout all Christendom, both in the East and in the West ; but less 
popular as a subject of Art than might have been expected from the 
antiquity of his worship, and the picturesque as well as pathetic circum- 
stances of the legend. 

" Adrian, the son of Probus, was a noble Roman ; he served in the 
guards of the Emperor Galerius Maximian, at the time when the tenth 
persecution against the servants of our Lord first broke out in the city 
of Nicomedia in Bithynia (a.d. 290). Adrian was then not more than 
twenty-eight years old, and he was married to a wife exceedingly fair and 
virtuous, whose name was Natalia, and she was secretly a Christian. 

** When the imperial edict was first promulgated, it had been torn 
down by the brave St. George, which so incensed the wicked emperors, 
that in one day thirty-four Christians were condemned to the torture : 

■ Academy, Florence. 


and it fell to the lot of Adrian to superintend the execution ; and as he 
stood by, wondering at the constancy with which these men suffered for 
the cause of Christ, his heart was suddenly touched, and he threw away 
his arms, and sat down in the midst of the condemned, and said aloud, 

* Consider me also as one of ye, for I too will be a Christian V Then 
he was carried to prison with the rest, 

"But when his wife, Natalia, heard these things, she was trans- 
ported with joy ; and came to the prison, and fell upon her husband's 
neck and kissed his chains, and encouraged him to suffer for the truth. 

" And shortly afterwards, Adrian, being condemned to die, on the 
night before he was to suffer prevailed upon the jailer by large bribes, 
and by giving sureties for his return, to permit him to visit his wife. 

« And Natalia was spinning in her chamber when the news was 
brought that her husband had fled from prison ; and when she heard it 
she tore her garments, and threw herself upon the earth, and lamented, 
and exclaimed aloud, * Alas ! miserable that I am ! I have not deserved 
to be the wife of a martyr I Now will men point at me, and say, 

* Behold the wife of the coward and apostate, who, for fear of death, 
hath denied his God.' 

** Now Adrian, standing outside the door, heard these words ; and he 
lifted up his voice, and said, ' O thou noble and strong-hearted woman ! 
I bless God that I am not unworthy of thee 1 Open the door, that I 
may bid thee farewell before I die.' So she arose joyfully, and opened 
the door to him, and took him in her arms and embraced him, and they 
returned to the prison together. 

" The next day, Adrian was dragged before the tribunal ; and after 
being cruelly scourged and tortured, he was carried back to his dungeon ; 
but the tyrants, hearing of the devotion of his wife and other Christian 
women, who ministered to the prisoners, ordered that no woman should 
be allowed to enter the dungeon. Thereupon Natalia cut off all her 
beautiful hair, and put on the dress of a man; and thus she gained 
access to the presence of her husband, whom she found lying on the 
earth, torn and bleeding. And she took him in her arms, saying 
tenderly, * O light of mine eyes, and husband of mine heart I blessed art 
thou, who art called to suffer for Christ's sake!' And Adrian was 
comforted, and prepared himself to endure bravely to the end. 


" And the next day, the tyrants ordered that Adrian should have his 
limbs struck off on a blacksmith's anvil, and afterwards be beheaded, 
and so it was done to him ; and Natalia held him and sustained him in 
his sufferings, and before the last blow was struck he expired in 
her arms. 

** Then Katalia kissed him upon the brow, and, stooping, took up one 
of the severed hands, and put it in her bosom ; and, returning to her 
house, she folded up the hand in a kerchief of fine linen, with spices and 
perfumes, and placed it at the head of her bed ; but the bodies of Adrian 
and his companions were carried by the Christians to Byzantium, which 
was afterwards Constantinople. 

^^ And it happened after these things, that the emperor threatened to 
marry Natalia, by force, to one of the tribunes of the army. Therefore 
she fled, and embarked on board a vessel, and sailed for Argyropolis^ a 
port near Byzantium ; and the remainder of her life did she pass in 
widowhood, near the tomb of her husband. And often, in the silence 
of the night, when sleep came upon her eyes, heavy with weeping, did 
Adrian, clothed in the glory of beatitude, visit her dreams, and invite 
her to follow him. Nor long did she remain behind him ; for it pleased 
God to release her pure and noble spirit from its earthly bondage ; and 
Adrian, accompanied by a troop of rejoicing angels, descended from 
heaven to meet her; and they entered into the joy of the Lord, with the 
prophets and with the saints and those whose names are written in the 
book of life ; and they dwell in the light of His presence, reunited for 
ever and ever." 

'^ The Greek Church counts St. Natalia among the most distinguished 
female martyrs, with honours equal to those of her husband ; for, not 
less precious was her death in the sight of God, than if she had perished 
by the sword of the persecutors, seeing that she had endured a more 
terrible martyrdom than any that the ingenuity of man could inflict ; 
therefore they place the palm in her hand, and the crown upon her 
head, as one victorious over worse than death." 

St. Adrian and St Natalia are commemorated on the 8th of Sep- 
tember, and the story in its main points is one of the most ancient and 
authentic in the calendar. St. Adrian was for ages the chief military 
saint of the north of Europe, next to St George ; and was in Flanders 
and Germany and the north of France, what St Sebastian was in Italy — 


the patron of soldiers, and the protector against the plague. He is also 
the patron of the Flemish brewers. According to an ancient tradition, 
his relics have reposed since the 9th century in the convent of St. 
Adrian at Grammont, in Flanders. His sword, long preserved as a most 
precious relic at Walbeck, in Saxony, was taken from its shrine by the 
Emperor Henry II. (St Henry), and girded on by that pious emperor 
when preparing for his expedition against the Turks and Hungarians. 

St. Adrian is represented armed, with an anvil in bis hands or at his 
feet ; the anvil is his proper attribute ; sometimes a sword or an axe is 
lying beside it, and sometimes he has a lion at his feet. 

1. In a picture by Ileraling, now belonging to Mr. Harcourt Vernon, 
St Adrian is thus represented, armed as a Koman soldier, with a mag- 
nificent helmet and cuirass, and carrying the anvil in his arms. 

2. St. Adrian, in a short tunic richly embroidered, but without helmet 
or cuirass, holds his sword, the point of which rests on the anvil ; in 
the left hand he holds the banner of victory.* 

3. St. Adrian, crowned with laurel and in complete armour, holds 
the sword and anvil ; a lion, here the emblem of fortitude, crouches at 
his feet A beautiful miniature in the breviary of Marie de Medicis.* 

4. St Adrian, with the lion at his feet (engraved in Carter's Specimens 
of Ancient English Painting and Sculpture). 

It is necessary to observe these eflSgies with attention, for I have seen 
figures of St Adrian in which the anvil in his hand is so small as to 
look like a casket ; others in which the anvil placed at his feet is like a 
block or a large stone. 

SS. Adrian and Natalia are represented by Domenichino in the chapel 
of St Nilo at Grotta Ferrata, because this chapel had been origimdly 
dedicated to these Greek saints. 

I regret that I can cite no other separate figure of St Natalia, nor 
any series of subjects from this beautiful legend. No doubt many 
examples might be found in the old Flemish churches.' 

' Italian print * Oxf^ Bodleian. 

' In the collection of Mr. M'Lellan, of Glasgow, I saw a small picture representing St. 
Adrian in complete armour, with a helmet and floating plumes ; the anyil, on which he was 
mutilated, at his feet, and a crouching lion near him. In the collection of the late Mr. Den- 
nistoun, at Edinburgh, I saw (in Norember, IS 54) a small and very beautiful picture, — bj 
Heraling, I think, — which represented St. Nathalie, bearing the severed hands of her husband. 


According to the Greek and Germnn authorities, St. Natalia bears 
the lion as her proper attribute : if it be so, the lion is not here expressive 
of martyrdom, but is given to her as the received emblem of magna- 
nimity and invincible fortitude. She is the type of womanly love and 
constancy exalted by religious enthusiasm ; and though the circumstances 
of her heroic devotion have been deemed exaggerated, we may find in 
the pages of sober and authentic history warrant for belief. Every one, 
in reading the legend of St. Natalia, will be reminded of the story of 
Gertrude de Wart, who, when her husband was broken on the wheel, 
etood by, and never left the scaffold, during the three days and three 
nights of his protracted torture : — 

" For, mightier far 
Thftn Urength of nervo or sinew, or tho »wfty 
Of magic, potent over sun and star, 
b Love, tboogfa of) to agonj' diHT««t, 
And thongh his favonnlu teat be feeble woman's breast ! " 


L Kambs of Artists (embbacikg Paintbbs^ Sgulftobs, ani> 


IL Gallebies^ Chubches^ Mubeuhs, ahd othbb Defosuobies* 
OP Abt. 

IIL Gbvebax. Index«. 

VOL. II. 3 o 




Abate, Niccold dell*, 224. 

Agrati, Marco, 245. 

Albano, 82. 274. 

Aldegraef, 156. 

Alesio, Matteo Perez de, 444. 

Alfani, 626. 

Algardi, 685. 

AUori, 710. 765. 

AUston, 92. 

Altichieri, 409. 

Alnnno, Niccold, 206. 

Amalteo, Pompeo, 323. 

Amato, 448. 

Amatrice, Cola dell', 194. 

ADdron (eng.), 776. 

Angelico, 12, 13. 48. 59. 77, 78. 86 100. 138. 

141. 149, 150. 178. 195. 259. 265. 284. 438. 

536. 619. 691. 
Antonio, Marc, 180. 272. 355. 371. 387. 432. 

480. 544. 592. 597. 645. n. 
Aretino, Spinello, 652. 
Arezzo, Spinello d*, 108. 
Avanzi, Jacopo, 239. 409. 669. 

Baldi, Lazzaro, 727. 

Bandinelli, Baccio, 544. 

Baroccio, 275. 277. 279. 619. 658. 

Bartoli, Taddeo, 123. 

Bartoli (eng.), 221. 

Bartolomeo, Fra, 80. 149. 368. 403. 570. 648. 

Basaiti, 195. 305. 

Bassano, 366. 431. 663. 

Batumi, 205. 

Beccafomi, 242. 

Beham, Hans &, 139. 180. 335. 

Beham, K, 335. 

BeUini, 59. 150. 195. 199. 757. 

Belliniano, 150. 

Bernini, 84. 414. 

Bermguete, 679. 

Bettino, 654. 

Bezaleel, 54. 

BiccifNeride*, 271.644. 

Blssolo, 668. 

Biflsoni, G. R, 183. 

Blake, William, 86. 

Bloemart, 260. 

Bol, F., 58. fi. 

Bonifazio, 163. 242. 279. 675. 

Bonvidno, 149. 195. 284. 460. 576. 594. 623. 

Bordone, Paris, 153. 310. 

Borroni, 675. 

Boschi, 254. 

Both, Jan, 243. 

Botticelli, 77. 731. 

Bottoni, Gaiseppe, 300. 

Boordon, 775. 

Bmsasorci, 499. 511. 533. 754. 

Bmjn, Bartholomew de, 787. 

Buonfigli, 767. 

Bargmair, Hans, 512. 599. 

Busati, A., 148. 

Calrert, Dennis, 355. 375. 
o 2 


Cambiasi, 376. 

Campi, 323. 594. 612. €41. 675.-791. 

Cano, Alonzo, 361. 

'CanoTa, 376. 

Cantarini, Simone, 563. 

Capanna, Paccie, 56. n, 

Caracci, the, 81, 82. 367. 667.; — Agostlno, 

180. 245. 294. 298. 670. ; ~ AnDibal, 78. 

82. 144. 206. 318. 361. 430. 481. 521. 536. 

638. 752.; — Ludovioo, 146. 205. 753. 771. 
'Caravaggio, 146. 198. 
<];ariani, 661. 
<:arotto, 128. 725. 
Carpaccio, Yittore, 298. 610. 4ia 510. 513. 

533. 537. 659. 669. 
Carpi, Ugo da, 647. 
Castagno, Andrea del, <tt77* 
Catena, Yicenzio, 666. 
<;aTalacci, 195. 216. 
'Cayedone, 731. 
Cespedes, 489. 

Champagne, Philippe de, 365. 309. 651. 775. 
Cignani, Carlo, 360. 
Cigoli, 360. 535. 
•Cimabue,'14I. 589. 599. 
CiTitale, Matteo, 429. 
Claade, 130. 243. 300. 
Conegliano, Gima da, 150. 194. 400. 5ie. 
Cordieri, 318. 
Cordova, Pedro de, 198. 
Coma, Ant. della, 765. 
Correggio, 78. 84. 142. 161. 179. 249. 055. 357. 

404. 424. 608. 707. 767. 
Cortona, Pietro da, 84.4216. 629. 638. 
Cossa, Francesco, 709. 
Cossalo, Grazio, 663. 
Costa, Lorenzo, 560. 566. 709. 
Costanzi, 201. 
Cranach, Lucas, 291. 334. 
Credi, Lorenzo di, 375. 511. 658. 668. 
Creutzfelder, 695. 
CrlveUi, 35. 200. 
'Curradi, 372. 
Cuyp, 216. 243. 

]>eIaroche, Paul, 55. 594. 
4>olce, Carlo, 572. 619. 

Domcnichino, 82. 130. 142. 161. 217. 228. 292. 

296. 298. 325. 375. 416. 423. 482. 494. 535. 

594. 597. 599, 607. 612. 671. 712. 799. 
Donatello, 404. 
Dossi, Dotso, 284. 
Douw, Gkrard, 371. 
Dnccio, 259. ^65. 369. 
Diirer, Albert, 65. 78. 162. 168. 181. 216. 250. 

267. 291. 294. 314. 321. 335. 374. 375. 382. 

406.416. 423. 479.488. 534. 647. 735. 7.51. 

786. 794. 
Duval, Amaniy, 673. 

Edelinck, 372. 
£1 Mndo, 548. 
Elzheimer, 222. 291. 418. 
Empoii, 731. 

Falconet, 307. 

Farinato, 446. 

Feracci, Andrea, 710. 

Ferrari, Gaudenzio, d7:\ 488. 662. 

Fiamingo, 84. 641. 

Fiesole, Mino da, -7 10. 

Ficsole. See ** Angelico.*' 

Figino, Ambrogio, 165. 

Fiore, Col' Antonio del*, 751. 

Flaxman, 120. 

Florigcrio, 310. 

Franceschini, 277. 371. 

Francia, 77. 480. 531. 599. 706. 

Frumenti, Kiccolo, 259. 384. 

Fiihrich, 673. 

Fumiani, 568. 

Furini, 579. 

Gaddi, Angclo, 648. 

Gaddi, Taddeo, 90. 364. 369. 379. 

Garbieri, 644. 

Garofalo, 313. 594. 

Ghent, Justus of, 113. 734. 

Ghtbcrti, Lorenzo, 705. 

Ghirlandajo, 69. 77. 266. 291. 479. 703. 705. 

Gioiano, 403. 
Giordano, Luca, 299. 
Giorgione, 152. 


Giottino, 464. 691. 

Giotto, 71. 76. 79. 86. 141. 147. 196. 207. 964. 

271. 367. 379. 
Gioyanni, GtoYanni di, 84. 
Goes, Vander, 496. 
Gozzoli, Benozxo, 76. 80. 205. 310. 
Granacci, Francesco, 77. 249. 580. 
**Le Grayeor de 1466," 124. 429. 483. 498. 
Greco, Domenico, 314. 
Grenze, 345. 
Gros, Pierre le, 775, 
Gnmer, 80. n., 544. 
Gnercino, 82. 198. 201. 248, 318. ^40. 707. 

711. 786. 
Guido, 72. R., 82. 107. 161. 208. 223. 228. 284. 

360. 371. 431. 481. 679. 710. 754. 

Hemessen, 146. 

Heznlinck, 579. 

Hemling, Hans, 159. 448. 479. 5M. 515. 648. 

Hemskirk, 116. 

Herrera, F., 490. 738. 

Hogarth, 222. 

Holbein, 14. 495. 

Honthorst, Gerard, 202. 

H Moretto. See ** Bonvicino.** 
Imola, Innoccnxa da, 108. 

Jacobelli, 179. 
Joanes, 608. , 

Jordaens, 727. 
Juanes, Juan, 198. 537. 

Landon, 221. 657. 

Lanfranco, 198. 223. 375. 

Laurati, Pietro, 757. 

Lebnin, 351. 371. 536. 775. 

Le Sueur, 142. 201. 217. 222. 276. 657. 717. 

Leyden, Lucas ran, 78. 123. 156. 180. 216. 223. 

291. 354. 370. 448. 521. 592. 
Liberate, 707. 
Ligozzi, Jacopo, 571. 
Lippi, Fra Filippo, 78. 80. 168. 204. 240. 243. 

310. 314. 
Loll, 299. 

Lombordo, Tullio, 1 50. 
Lopicino, Giovanni, 240. 
Lorenzetti, Ambrogio, 383. 
Lorenzini, 510. 
Lorenzo, Ambrogio di, 490. 
Lorenzo, Bicci di, 484. 
Lo Spagna, 240. 
Lotto, Lorenzo, 661. 
Ludoyico, 82. 407. 
Loini, 78. 489. 553. 670. 

Mabuse, 107. 145. 

Mademo, Stefano, 587. 

MainardI, 249. 651. 675. 

Mair, Ulricb, 242. 

Malosso, 388. 675. 

Mansueti, 150. 

Mantegna, Andrea, 78. 80. 164. 449. 563. 785. 

Maratti, Carlo, 156. 375. 698. 
Mares, Peter de, 786. 
Maiinari, 560. 

Masaccio, 141. 200. 202. 210. 490. 705. 
Ma«8arotti, 619. 
Matsys, Quintin, 204. 
Mazza, D., 667. 
Mazzuoli, G., 499. 

Meckenen, Israel von, 165. 387. 511. 
M^dula, A., 200. 
Melem, Israel von, 159. 570. 
Mclozzo, da Forli, 59. 

Memmi, Simone, 209. 648. 650. 728. 760. 788. 
Michael Angelo, 12. 73. 81. 179. 206. 208. 

215. 244. 281. 318. 368. 495. 
Milano, Giovanni da, 367. 379. 
Mochi, Francesco, 125. 
Monaco, Don Lorenzo, 120. 796. 
Monsignori, 698. 
Montagno, Benedetto, 375. 
Morando, 707. 

Morghen, Raphael, 270. 370. 
Miickc, 489. 
Miillcr, 161. n. 

Mttrillo, 67. 84. 127. 198. 229. 312. 361. 677. 
737. 770. 794. 

Nocchi, P., 265. n. 


Oggione, Marco, 110. 

Orcagna, 12. 56. 76. 90. 260. 546. 

Overbeck, 366. 

Fadora, Giusta da, 243. 

Padora, Gnariente di, 103. 

Padovanino, 168. 424. 

Falina, 668. 

Palma, 59. 423. 481. 553. 619. 

Palmezzano, 266. 

Tannigiano, 18. 180. 224. 297. 355. 429. 461. 

485. 612 700. 
Passari, B., 754. 
Pavia, Lorenzo di, 253. 
Pereda, Antonio, 296. 
Perugino, 19. 49. 78. 142. 160. 199. 253. 259. 

Perugio, Matteo di Ser Cambio of, 145. 
Ferozzi, B., 275. 
Pesellino, 437. 438. 

Pinturicchio, 422. 487. 497. 542. 599. 753. 
Piola, Pelegrino. 730. 
Piombo, Sebastian del, 11. 327. 612. 
Pisa, Giunta da, 56. n. 
Pisano, Giovanni, 702. 
Pisano, Gianta, 205. 
Pisano, Niccolo, 63. 
Pistoia, Gerino da, 429. 
Pistoia, Paolina da, 249. 
Pocetti, 630. 
Pollajuolo, 422. 553. 
Pomerancio, 624. 
Pontormo, 786. 
Pordenone, 146. 
Poussin, Niccolo, 72. 83. 199. 200. 216. 248. 

273. 276. 521. 
Procaccino, C, 311. 423. 431. 580. 
Procaccino, Giulio, 596. 
Puget, 420. 

Raphael, 13. 56. n., 59. 64.67. 71. 80, 81. 84. 

106. 107. 126. 134. 140. 156. 160. 164. 178. 

180. 183. 196. 199. 206. 215. 220. 225. 238. 

248, 249. 259. 270, 271. 282. 292. 298. 314. 

355. 368. 371. 405. 479. 497. 535. 592. 597. 

644.685. 716. 
Kayenna, Marco di, 107. n. 

Razzi, 767. 

Bembrandt, 68. 81. 84. 130. 197. 202. 243.260. 

R£n6 of Prorence, king, 372. 
Bejnolds, Sir Joshua, 14. 592. 
Ribalta, 245. 

Ribera, 198. 245. 296. 388. 
Ricci, F., 679. 
Riminaldi, 597. 
Rizi, F., 156. 

Robbia, Luca della, 249. 619. 
Roelas, Jaan de, 229. 738. 
Roelas, P., 695. 

Romano, Giolio, 374. 488. 535. 692. 789. 
Roselli, Conmo, 254. 496. 
Rubens, 84. 110. 115. 140. 168. 196. 200. 

208. 215. 248, 249. 285. 307. 328. 345. 356. 

363. 367. 371. 406. 411. 430. 486. 497. 531. 

670. 753. 
Rustichino, 375. 
Rje, Giles de, 489. 

Sacchi, Andrea, 321. 

Sacchi, P. F., 281. 

Sadeler, 423. 

Salaino, Andrea, 200. 

Salmeggia, Enea, 661. 791. 

Salvator B^osa, 130. 243. 439. 752. 

Sammacchini, 659. 

Santa Croce, G. da, 423. 

Sarto, Andrea del, 78. 104. 237. 272. 368. 606. 

Schalken, 259. 

Schaufelein, Hans, 223. n., 323. 
Scheffer, Ai7,314. 

Scboen, Martin, 78. 103. 240. 606. 752. 
Schoreel, Jan, 667. 719. 778. 
Schwanthaler, 407. 
Sementi, Giovanni, 642. 
Semitecolo, N., 421. 
Scncse, Bartolo, 458. 
Sesto, Cesare da, 480. 
Siena, Matteo di, 13. 436. 495. 
Sigalon, 296. 

Signorelli, Luca, 12. 59. 110. 115. 266. 353. 
Simon, Pierre, 439. 
Sirani, Elizabetta, 370. 


Soggi, N^ 793. 

Sogliani, 249. 

Spada, Lionello, 450. 598. 

Spagnoletto, 713. 

Spinello, 488. 

Stamina, 298. 

Steenwick, 201. 

Steinle, 86. 

Stella, 72. n. 

Stephen of Cologne, 787. 

Stradano, 276. 

Strange, 607. 692. 

Subleyras, 296. 307. 337. 548. 

Tenerani, 86. 376. 

Teniere, 197. 488. 752. 

Thomhill, 222. 

Tianiri, 376. 

Tieopolo, 612. 

Tintoretto, 153, 154. 163. 275. 403. 406. 423. 

431. 436. 
Titian, 79. 84. 129. 148. 273. 281. 292, 293. 

359. 369. 436. 446. 481. 484, 485. 495. 543. 

578. 606. 
Torrigiano, 295. 
TreviBani, 207. 
Triqneti, Henri de, 353. 

Udine, Gio. da, 283. 
Udine, Martino da, 5ia 
Uggione, 269. 

Vaga, Perin del, 200. 222. 
YaldeB, Joan de, 295. 
Valentin, 142. 198. 
Valentino, 207. 

Van Dyck, 70. 84. 248. 307. 312, 313. 362. 367. 

411. 422, 423. 486 570 612. 727. 
Van Eyck, 12. 113. 156. 290. 448. 496. 
Vanloo, 775. 
Vanni, F., 205. 530. 
Vasari, 200. 216. 296. 320. 487. 
Vecchio, Palma, 494. 510. 796. 
Veit, PhiUp, 369. 
Velasques, 753. 
Veneziano, Antonio, 760. 
Veneziano, Domenico, 619. 
Verona, Liberale di, 49. 
Verona, Michele da, 788. 
Veronese, Alessandro, 424. 
Veronese, Paul, 146. 163. 274. 320. 365. 411. 

421. 424. 461. 481. 484. 568. 606. 663. 669. 

699, 670. 707. 782. 

Verschafielt, 98. 

Vien, Joseph-Marie, 717. 

Vigri, Caterina da, 511. 

Vinci, lionardo da, 78. 111. 219. 220. 268. 

Vischer, Peter, 179. 

Vite, Timoteo della, 37. 358. 

Vivarini, the, 13. 59. 283. 305. 310. 328. 375. 


Volterra, Daniel di, 211. 

Vries, Hans, 365. 

West, 222. 
Wohlgemuth, 290. 
Wolvinos, 306. n. 

Zuccati, F., 148. 

Zucchero, F., 275. 375. 624. 631. 

Zarbaran, 164. 510. 677. 




AgoAdo Gallery, 156 677. 

Aix, 530. 

Althorp, 448. 

Alton Towers, 365. 388. 447. 638* 

Angers, 490. 728. 

Antwerp, 248. 367. 41 1. 

Arezzo, 108. 702. 

Aries, 192. 720. 

Ashburton, Lord, collection of, 70. 335. 767. 

Assisi, 92. 141. 206. 367. 379. 384. 464» 490. 

Augsburg, 512. 664. 
Aoxerre, 67. 

Basle, 274. 

Bergamo, 661. 

BerUn: Musee, 20a 310. 371. 418. 423. 488. 

537. 599. 661. 754. 
Boisserce Galleiy, 108. 159. 448. 570. 647. 
Bologna: GaL Academy, 37. 16a 298. 319. 

358. 521. 560. 568. 592. 607. 659. 669. 690. 

Bologna: Churchea. Mendicant!, 146. 638. 

731. S. Maria Maggiore, 292. SanMichele 

in Bosco, 407. 599. San Petronio, 709. 
Bolsena, 667. 

Bonrges, 167. 379. 389. 463. 553. 727. 
Brescia, 323, 593. 663. 
Bridgewater Gallery, 199. 318. 
Brighton, 117. 

British Museum, 116. 298. 370. 387. 514. 755. 
Bromley, Mr., his collection at Wootton, 200. 


Bruges, 515. 548. 
Bmsseli, 727. 765. 

Backing^iam Palace, 14^. 243. 969. 382. 406. 

Cambridge, 430. 

Castiglione, 138. 

Champagne, 1 76. 

Ceneda, 323. 

Chartres, 51. 140. 37«.389. 462. 544. 553. 691. 

716. 718. 728. 78L 
CoesTelt Galleiy, 163. 
Cologne, 122. 511. 787. 
Conyngham, Mr. W., collection of, 795. 
Copenhagen, 52 L 
Cornwall, 117. 
Cortona, 102. 
Cremona, 542. 563. 
Cremona: Churches. S. Pietro-in-Po, 387. S. 

Sigismondo, 594. 641. & Lucia, 619. a 

Egidio, 674. 

Dantag, 114. 

Darmstadt, 572. 

DcTonshire, Duke of, colL of, 479. 

Dresden Galleiy, 13. 81. 144. 224. 284. 357. 

372. 404. 495. 68a 707. 
Dublin, 92. 260. 753. 
Dolwich, 84. 371. 416. 497. 639. 

Eastlake, Sir €., coU. of, 734. 
Egremont, Lord, colL of, 68. 
EUesmcre, Lord, colL of, 613. 



Femni, 499. 7ia 

Fiesole, 7ia 

Florence, 705. 786. 788. 793. 

Florence Galleiy, 120. 138. 149. 150. 178. 223. 

237. 249. 254. 259. 360. 372. 375. 384. 403. 

417. 422. 429. 434. 438. 496. 534. 585. 553. 

589. 619. 648. 650. 703. 757. 
Florence Academj, 12. 101. 104. 249. 254. 

259. 264. 418. 436. 438. 479. 496. 548. 716. 
Florence: ChorcheB. S. MarU-NoyellA, 90. 

209. 546. Santa-Croce, 116. 263. 364. 378. 

691. StroKzi Chapel, 167. Carmine, 20a 

205. 207. 210. Or-San-Mlchele, 242. 731. 

& Marco, 266. Sant' Onofrio, 270. Salvi, 

272. Ogni-Santi, 291. Bapdsterj, 352. 

Capdla Medici, 435. San Miniato, 443. 

Santa Lucia, 619. Foundling Hospital, 530. 

a Trinity 638. & FelictUk, 644. San 

Lorenzo, 767. 
Florence, Pitti PaL, 296. 868. 481. 597. 612. 

765. Biccardi Pal., 69. Casa Racellai, 249. 

Corsini Ptol., 416. Binnccini PaL, 478. 579. 
Florence, Baigello, 387. 
Foligno, 272. 
Forli, 266. 
Frankfort, 184. 260. 283. 480. 

Genoa, 365. 420. 698. 730. 
Ghent, 290. 448. 732. 
Grosrenor Gallery, 140. 156. 486. 
Grotta-Fenata, 325. 

Hague, the, 20a 

Hampton Court, 196. 199. 201. 291. 365. 406. 

Haroourt Yemon, Mr., colL of, 799. 

Imola, 711* 

Kensington Palace, 12. 48. 70. 121. 479. 512. 
782. 794. 

Lansdowne, Lord, coH. of, 595. 
Leuchtenherg Gallery, 127. 
Limoges, ' 
Lodi, 263. 

VOL. IL 3 H 

Lombardy, 673. 
Lucca, 210. 420. 706. 


Madrid, 129. 199. 294. 296, 297. 312. 314. 537. 

544. 548. 608. 753. 777. 
Malines, 168. 200. 
Malta, 103. 480. 618. 
Mantua, 497. 644. 789. 
Mar8eille^ 161. 227. 253. 
Mayence, 696. 
Messina, 716. 

Methnen, Lord, coU. of, 312. 71 7* 
Milan: Brera GaL, 78. 108. 110. 149. 161. 165. 

194. 223. 245. 384. 418. 431. 488. 510. 534, 

537. 596. 661. 670. 699. 
Milan: Churches. I>uomo,245. S. Ambrogio, 

191.304.306. a M. delle Grazie, 268. San 

Vicenzino, 553. San Nazaro Maggiore, 660. 

San Maurizio, 788. 
Miles, Mr., his collection at Leigh Court, 215. 

Modena, 431. 707. 
Mount Athos, 135. 182. 
Munich, 110. 156. 162. 164. 363. 372. 384. 

423. 495. 521. 580. 592. 719. 778. 787. 

Naples, 205. 712. 751. 

National Galleiy, 54. 292. 297. 307. 3ia 360. 

367. 406. 461. 476. 479. 536. 579. 752. 
Northwick, Lord, coU. of, 320. 
Nnrembeig, 179. 213. 787. 

Onrieto, 50. 59. 63. 110. 125. 353. 
Oxford, 158. 382. 479. 799. 

Padua, 59. 103. 138. 

409. 421. 449. 618. 
Palermo, 92. 176. 191 

566. 637. 781. 
Paris, Louvre, 59. 65. 

125. 130. 142. 145. 

393. 299. 307. 338. 

381. 388, 389. 393. 

450. 490.511.516. 

576. 578. 606. 619. 

727. 759. 774. 776. 

141. 183. 239. 243. 251. 



72. 74. 92, 
147. 169. 
248. 253. 
358. 361. 
418, 419. 
519. 531. 
657. 673. 
780. 785. 


198. 201. 
274. 281. 
374, 375. 
437. 448. 
537. 549. 
708. 717. 



Parma, 148. 161. 179. 249. SSL 

Fanl's Cathedral, St, 222. 

PaTia, 103. 129. 309. 380. 417. 711. 

Peel, Sir R, ooU. of, 411. 

Pemgia, 142. 417. 626. 708. 767. 

Pewia, 372. 

Petersburg, St., 161. 248. 286. 406. 493. 794. 

Piacenza, 497. 

Pisa, 13. 56. 76. 90. 178. 606. 651. 658. 673. 

760. 762. 
Prague, 555. 

Bagusa, 698. 

fiayenn^ 74. 91. 141. 147. 17a 174. 176. 192. 
434. ^7. 642. 658. 678. 701. 

Rheims, 62. 

Bimini, 654. 711. 

Bogers, Mr., coll. of, 153. 365. 369. 653. 668. 

Borne: Vatican, 13. 59. 64. 68. 80. 103. 166. 
169. 180. 183. 190. 195. 208. 220. 228. 248, 
249. 282. 284. 298. 310. 498. 535. 544. 685. 

Borne: Churchea. St Peter's, 198. 212. 218. 
338. 647. 691. 699. St Cecilia, 588. 598. 
San Gregorio, 112. 318. Cappuccini, 107. 
San Clemente, 141. 626. & Maria Maggiore, 
121. 176. 190. St Agnes, 604. &. Luigi 
Prancese, 146. 600. Lateran, 188. S. Mar- 
tine, 638. S. Sabina, 190. SS. Cosmo 
and Damian, 190. 434. Sistine Chapel, 199. 
Chapel Paolina, 215. S. Maria-in-Traste- 
Tere, 243. San Lorenzo, 548. San Pietro- 
in-Yincoli, 414. St Paul Tre Pontane, 553. 
S. Prassede, 528. 623. St Bibbiana, 628. 
St Balbina, 630. St Alexis, 633. Borghese 
GaL, 163. 594. Corsini PaL, 436. Acade- 
my of St Luke, 156. Doria Pal. 691. Castle 
of St Angelo, 98. 

Bomford, 172. 

Bouen, 241. 494. 553. 718. 765. 

Royal Academy, 269. 

Saint-Gilles, abbey of, 769. 

fianta Cruz, 679. 

6eville» 295. 444. 695. 737. 

Siena, 103. 242. 259. 265. 418. 496. 519. 570. 

Spello, 542. 
Spoleto, 24a 
Strasborg, 13. 
Sutherland Galleiy, 68. 92. 245. 318. 337. 482. 

521. 536. 640. 677. 

Toledo, 679. 

Tower of London, 499. 

TreTiso. 667, 668. 

Th>ye8, 176. 

Turin, 863. 375. 521. 

Venice : Academy, 182. 243. 282, 283. 403. 
513. 606. 

Venice: Churches. 8t Mark's, 179.324.566. 
San Sebastiano, 421. Frari, 59. 195. 294. 
305. San Patuleone, 567. San Bamabo, 
279. San Gk>rgio, 410. San Bocco, 429. 
432. San Pletro^ 168. S, Mandale, 129. 
Abbasia, 570. 667. St John and St Paul, 
146.310.403.629. a Maria del Orto, 45a 
553. 607. S. Maria Formosa, 495. a 
Lucia, 619. San Trovaso, 657. San Vitale, 
659. S. M. Mater-Domini, 667. Ducal 
Palace, 154. 323. 446. 670. ManMni PaL, 
355. 358. 

Vercelli, 372. 

Verona, 128. 323. 403. 411. 563. 612. 706. 725. 

Vicenza, 320. 

Vienna, Belredere Gal, 146. 156. 195. 242. 
290. 307. 370, 371. 418. 481. 489. 520. 576. 
695. 795. 

Vienna, Lichtenstein GaL, 418. 

Viterbo, 249. 

Volterra, 310. 

Ward, Lord, colL of, 200. 

Wellington, Duke o^ colL o( 300. 

Wells Cathedral, 178. 

Westminster Abbey, &c, 113. 163. 171. S9a 

Windsor, 201. 365. 448. 481. 607. 727. 



Absbt of Samt-Gillet, in I'raaee, former and 
present condition of this great Benedictine 
establishment, 769. 

AchiDens, St, 630. 

Adelaide of Bergamo, St, 660. 

Adrian, St, 469. 

Afra of Angsburg, St, 668. 

Afira of Brescia, St, 662. 

Agatha, St, Virgin and Martyr, 608. 

AgUe and Boniface, SS., 63a. 

Agnes, St, Virgin and Martyr, 600. 

Alexander the Martyr, St, 660. 

Alexis, St, 634^ His legend among the most 
beaatiful of sacred romances, 634. How re- 
presented in art, 637. 

Ambrose, St, 306. 

Anachronisms in sacred art, 8. 

Anargyres, origin of the appellation, 434, 

Anastasia, St, 639. 

Anastasius, St, 553* 

Andrew, St, 226. 

Angels, 41. Early popular belief as to their 
existence and influence in the affairs of man- 
kind, 41. ninstratiTe quotation from 
Spenser, 42. Scriptural and theological 
authorities relative to their nature, orders, 
and functions, 43. 46. Modes of represent- 
ing them in ancient works of art, 46. 52. 
Wings, an almost inyariable attribute, 53. 
Milton's picture of a seraph contrasted with 
that of eariy art, 55. Poetical nature of 
Orcagna's angels, 56. Dante's ideal, 56. 
Their threefold functions as messengers from 
God to man, as the choristers of heayen, and 


as the guardians of the Just and innocent, 57* 
6 1 . How represented in art when viewed as 
ministers of wrath, 63.; as ministers of 
mercy, 64. More frequently alluded to in 
the New Testament than in the Old, 68. 
Their artistic treatment in pictures of Gospel 
narratives, 68. 73. Characteristics of the 
several schools of art in reference to angelic 
forms and attributes, 74. 86. 

Ansano^ St, 650. 

Anthony, St, 741. 

Apollinaris of Ravenna, St, 700. 

Apo]lonia,.8t, Virgin and Martyr, 578. Her 
legend, 578. How represented in art, 579, 

ApoUonius, St, 665. 

Apostles, The Twelve, 173. Tradition respect- 
ing the composition of the '^Apostles' 
Creed,'' 174. 

Archangels, The, 87. St Michael, 94. St 
Gabriel, 118. St Raphael, 126. St Uriel, 88. 

Arnold, Dr., his objection to the Milt<inic re- 
presentation of Satan, 102. n. Remarks on 
martyrdom pictures, 523. 

Asterius, bishop of Amasea, quotation fh>m 
one of his homilies, 561. 

Athanasius, St, 339. 

Attributes, origin and significance of, in l^en- 
dary art, 23. 36. 

Auchinleck MSS., quotation from a metrical 
legend of St Margaret in the, 519. 

Augustine, St, 308. His tomb in the cathedral 

Aventore, Anditore, and Ottario, SS., 785. 




Baillet, references to his <« Vies des Saints," 

556. 564. 578, 579. 634. 
Balbina, Santa, 630. 
Balthazar, de U Borle, lines from his **Hjrmn 

to the Magdalene,** 374. 
Barbara, St., 492. Her effigy a frequent orna- 
ment on armour, shields, &C., 500. 
Barnabas, St, 278. 
Baronius, his account of the exlmnuition of St. 

CecUia, 587. 
Bartholomew, St., 244. Not popular in works 

of art, 244. How represented, 244. 
Bartsch. references to, 196. ii., 224. 823. 488. 

731. 755. 
Basil the Great, St., 335. 
Bell, Sir Charles, his description of Stefano 

Mademo's statue of ** St Cecilia Ijing dead,*' 

Bibiana, Santa, 628. 
Bishops, The Earlj, 681. 
Bhiise, St, 696. His popuhu* legend of Greek 

origin, 696. Pictures of him, 698. 
Bosio, reference to his **Roma Sotteranea,** 633. 
Bottari, references to, 116. 174. 199. 

Cardinal priests, when first instituted, 685. 

Casciano, San, (Cassian,) 711. 

Catherine of Alexandria, St, 467. 

Cecilia, St, Virgin and Martyr, 583. 

Celsus, St, 659. 

Cenacolo. See ** The Last Supper." 

Cenobites, or hermits living in communities, 

Cesareo, St, 630. 

Chaucer, quotation from, 584. 

Cheron, St, 718. 

Christina, St, 665. 

Christopher, St, 439. His singular and pic- 
turesque legend, 439—443. How repre^ 
sented in art, 443 — 450. 

Chrysanthus and Daria, SS., 641. 

Chrysogonus, St, 640. 

Chrysostom, St John, 325. 

Church, Doctors of the, 280. 

Ciampini, references to, 74. 176. 224. 527. 

Cicognara, references to his ** Storia delU Seal- 

tura modema,** 352. 463. 702. 
Oair, St, 718. 
Classical art, educational associations fiiToar- 

able to the right appredatioQ o^ 7. 
Clement, St, third bishop of Borne, 626. 
Colours, their s^rmbolical meaning as exeroj^- 

fied in sacred art, 35, 36. See also 257. m. 
Constantine, St See ** St SylTester." 
Cornelius, St, 735. 
Cosmo and Damian, SS., 433. 
Costanso, St., (Constantius,) 708. 
Crispin and Crispianus, SS., 679. 
Crowned Brothers, The Four. See ** Qnattro- 

Cyprian and Justina of Antioch, SS., 573. 
Cyprian, St, bishop of Carthage, 699. 
C^ St, 342. 

D*Agincourt, references to his "Histoire do 
I'Art par les Monnmens," 535. 553. 589. 
691. 751. 

Damian, St See '* Sa Cosmo and Damian.** 

Dante, quotations fi:om, or references to, 45. 
56. 60. 82. 119, 120. 123. 131. 831. 860. 
269. 322. 328. 620. 682. 

Dark ages, state of society in the, 4. 

Demons, belief regarding them in the primitiTe 
ages of the Church, 526. 

Denis of France, St, 713. 

Devotional art, distinguishing features of, 11. 

Diderot, characteristic specimen of his criti- 
cisms on religious art, 307. 

Didron, references to his ** Iconographie Chre- 
tienne,** 23. 154. 

Doctors of the Church, The, 28a 

Donato of Arezxo, St., 701. 

Dorothea, St, Virgin and Martyr, 568. 

Dragon, as attribute and qrmhol, 26. 

Eleutherins, St, 715. 

Eloy, St, 728. His legend, and its representa- 
tion in works of art, 728 — 732. Passage 
from one of his sermons, 473. a. 

Emblems, their origin and significance in 
sacred art, 23. 36. 

Ephesns, The Seven Sleepers of, 581 . 



EphesQS and Podtns* 8S^ 652. 

Ephrem, St., hmmit of Sjria, 756. Notice of 
paintings in which he is represented, 756, 

Erasmns, St, 699. 

Ercolano, Sant', (Hercnkons,) 708. 

** Etmria Pittrice," references to the, 530. 560. 

Eugenia, St, 642. 

Ealalia, St, 677. 

Enphemia, St, Virgin and Martyr, 661. 

Eustace, St, 791. His legend, and its repre- 
sentation in art, 791 — 793. 

Eyangelists, The Four, 132. Their respective 
symbols and attribatee, 182. Instances of 
artistic treatment, 136. 140. 

Faustino and Oioyita, SS., 662. 

Felicitas, St, and her Seven Sons, Martyrs, 

642. Their legend, 642. Bepresentations 

in art, 643. 
Felix, St, 659. 
Filomena, St., 671. 
Fina, Santa, 650. 
Flenry, quotation firom, 343. 
Fl<nian, St, 794. 
Ford, Mr., references to his ** Handbook of 

Spain," 258. 678. 
Frediano, St, 706. 

Gabriel, St, (Archangel,) 118. 

Gaudenzio, St., (Gaadentius,) 711. 

Geminianns, St, 707. 

Genevieve of Paris, St, 771. 

Geoffirey, author of the first dramatic ** spec- 
tacle " acted in England, 475. 

Oeorge of Cappadocia, St, 398. 

Geryon, St, 787. 

Genrasius and Protasius, SS., 654. 

Gibbon, references to^ 316. 327. 582. 685. 707. 
738. 780. 

Giles the Hermit, St, 768. 

Giovita, St, 662. 

Gnostics, The, their doctrine touching arch- 
angels, 96. II. 

Goethe, quotation from his ** Theory of Co- 
lours,'* 258. fi. 

Grata, St, 660. 
Greek Fathers, The Four, 324. 
Greek Martyrs, The, 556—582. 
Gregory, St, 315. 
Gregory Nasianien, St, 340. 
<judnla, St, 777. 

Guizot, M., extract from his <*Histoire de Ci- 
Yilisation," 3. 

Hermit Saints, The, 739—777. 

^ Heures d*Anne de Bretagne," references to 

the, 64. 127. 156. 610. 735. 751. 
Hilarion, founder of the first Syrian monastery, 

Hippolytus, St, 547. Obscurity of his legends, 

548. Pictures of his martyrdom, 548. See 

also 794. 
Hubert, St., bishop of Li^ge, 732. 

Ignatius, St, bishop of Antioch, supposed rest- 
ing-place of his relics, 626. 

Ignatius Theophoms, St., Bishop and Martyr, 

Bdefonso, St, 678. 

Incense, its first use in Christian churches, 
534. ». 

Innocents, The, 315. 

Isidore, St, bishop of Seville, 737. 

Isidore, St, the ploughman, 777. 

James the Great, St, 230. 

James the Less, St, 250. 

Januarins, St, 420. 

Jerome, St, 285. 

Job, St, 445. 

John, St, 157. 

John and Paul, SS., brothers, 629. Pictures of 

them, 629. 
Judas Iscariot, 255. 
Jnde, St, (or Thaddeus,) 252. 
Julia, St, 661. 
Julian of CiUda, St., 653. 
Julian, Hospitator, St., 762. 
Julian the Martyr, St, 654. 
Jnsta and Bufina, SS., 676. 
Jnsthia, of Antioch, St See ''SS. Cyprian 

and Justina." 
Jusdna of Pftdna, St, Yiigin and Mar^, 669. 



Lftmbert, St, biihop of Maestridit, 782. 

Lansi, references to, 2S9. 41 1. n., 598. 765. 

Lardner^ qnoUtioos from, 96. 184. 195. 260. 
251. 277. 

Last Supper, The, 261. 

Latin Fathers, The Foot, 280. How rq>re- 
sented in devotional pictores when grouped 
together, 280. 285. St Jerome, 285. St. 
Ambrose, 300. St. Angustine, S08. St. 
Gregorj, 315. 

Latin Martjri, The, 588--62a 

Laurence, Sc, Deacon and Mart^, 538. 

Lazarus, St, (brother of SS. Martha and 
Marj,) 383. 

Leander and Isidore, SS., brothers, and suces* 
sivelj bishops of Serille, 737. 

I^enda Aurea, quotations from, or references 
to, 247. 438. 492. 786. n. 

Legendario, H perfetto, quotations from, 95. 
143. 382. 694. 

Legendario Bomano, reference to the, 634. 

Legende delle SS. Vergini, quotation from, 

Legends of the Monastic Orders, reflnrences to, 
172. 642. 675. 

Leo, St, 685. 

Leocadia, St, 678. 

Leonard, St., 765. 

lindsay. Lord, references to his ** Sketches of 
Christian Art," 243. 654. 

Longinus, St, 787. 

Lucia, St, Virgin and BCartyr, 613. Devo- 
tional and other pictures, 617 — 620. 

Luke, St, 154. A beloved disciple and com« 
panion of St Paul, 154. DoubU as to the 
manner of his death, 154. Some ground for 
supposing him to have been a phjsician, 
but none for the legend which makes him a 
painter, 154. Chosen, nevertheless, as the 
patron saint of painters, 155. Pictures re- 
presenting him painting the Virgin, 155, 

Lupo, St, 660. 

Maccabees, the seven Jewish martjr-brcthren 

mentioned in, 645. 
Macrina, St, (grandmother of St Basil,) 335. 

Magdalene, St Maij, 343. 

Maitland*s •'Dark Ages,** reftrred to^ 729. «. 

Marcella, St, 384. 

Margaret, St, 516. The chosen type of female 
innocence and meekness, 516. Her singa* 
larlj wild legend, 517. Devotional pictures 
of her, 519—522. 

Mark, St, 147. 

Martha, St, 381. 

Martin of Tours, St, 72a 

Martina, St, 638. 

Martjrs, The Earlj, 523. 

Martjrs, The Gred^, 556. 

Martjrs, The Latin, 583. 

Martjrs, The Boman, 621. ^ 

^far^rrs of Tuscany, Lombardy, Spain, and 
France, 648. 

Mary of Egypt, St, 385. 

Mary the Penitent (niece of the hermit Abra- 
ham), 39a 

Matthew, St, 143. 

Matthias, St, 254. 

Massillon, passage from, 26* 

Massinger, quotations from, 320. 572. 

Maurelio, San, (Maurelius,) 710. 

Maurice, St, 783. Legend of this warrior- 
saint, and the mode of representing him ia 
art, 783^786. 

Maximin, St, 384. 

Medinval Art, viewed as the monument of a 
real and earnest faith, 6. General ignoranoa 
regarding the subjects of, 8. 

Menna, St, 781. 

Mercurius, St, 779. 

Mery, the Abb^ quotations from, 227. 345* 

Michael, St, (Archangel,) 94. 

Middle Ages, origin of the legendary art of 
the, 1. 

MiUennium, expectations respecting it cherished 
by the Christians of the third century, 739. 

Milman, Mr., references to his "History of 
Christianity,** 3. 525. 

Milton, quotations from, 48. 55. 57. 66. 70. 73. 
87.89. 106. 118.126. 194. 

Minias (or Miniato), St, 649. 

Monica, St, (mother of St Augustine,) 31 U 
313, 314. 



Moset, St^ 756. 

HurraT's Handbooka, references to, 306. 762. 
Moflic and musiciana. See " St. Cecilia." 
Mjrrhophoree^ or mjrrli-bearers, 368. 

Nalxv and Felix, SS., 659. 
Natalia, St. See «* St. Adrian." 
NasarioB and CelsoB, SS., 659. How repre- 
sented in art, 660. 
Nereo and Achilleo, SS., 630. 
Nicaise, St, (Nicasiaa,) 7 18. 
Nicholas of Mjrra, St., 450. 

Oelenschliger, quotations from his drama of 

" Correggio," 357. 
Omobnono, St., 674. 
Onnphrins, St., 755. 
OtUTio^ St, 786. 

Panacea, St, of the Yalaisb 662. 

Fancras, St, 640. 

Pantaleon, St, Martyr, 566. 

Ftesavant, references to his *« Rafael," 129 

221. 240. 248. 317. 692. 
Fatron Saints of Christendom, The, 395. Their 

names, and distinetiTe characteristics, 396. 
Fan], St, 185. 212. 
Panl of Thebes, founder of the Anchorites, 739. 

746, 747. 
Felagia, St, 394. 

Fenitents, beatified, 343. 385. 389. 393. 
Fersecntions of the early Christians, 525. 
Peter and Paul, SS., 185. Subjects separately 

Hlostrating the life of St Peter, 193—211.; 

of St Paul, 212*223. 
Peter Exorcista and Marcellinus, SS., 632. 
Fetronilla, St, legend of, 210. 
Petronins, St, 709. 
Philip, St, (Apostle,) 241. 
Phocas, St, Martyr, 564. 
Pope, title of, when fint adopted, 684. 
Potitns, St, 652. 

Prsxedes and Pndentiana, SS., 622. 
Procopius, St, 771. 
Proculus, St, bishop of Bologna, 710. 
Procnlns, St, military protector of Bologna, 


Protasios, St See **SS. Gerrasius and Pro- 

Pmdeniius, quotation from his ** Hymn to St 

Laurence," 550. His account of St Eulalia, 

Padentiana, St .See ^'SS. Prazedes and 


** Quattro-Coronati," The (or Four Crowned 
Brothers), 624. Their legend, and the mode 
in which it is represented in art, 625. 

Quintin, 796. 

Quirinus, St, 794. 

Kanieri, St, 760. His legend, and its repre- 
sentation in art, 761, 762. 

Baphael St (Archangel), 126. 

B^nlus, St, 705. 

Belies, origin and results of the prevailing pas- 
sion for them from the third to the fourteenth 
century, 654. 

Beparata, St, 648. How represented in art, 

Richardson, references to, 407, 408. 608. 

Boch, St, 425. 

Bomain, St, 719. 

Boman Martyrs, The, 621. 

Bomulo, San (Bomulus), 710. 

Bossini, references to, 145, 183. 698. 

Bufina, St, 676. 

Busticns, St, 714,715. 

Sabhia, St, 630. 

Santiago. See ** St James the Great" 

Satyr, 746. 

Scuola, correct meaning of the word, 283. »• 

Origin and objects of the Scuola della Cariti 

at Venice, 766. 
Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, The, 581. 
Shakspeare, his allusion to St Crispin's day, 

Simon Zebtes, St, 252, 253, 254. 
Siztus, St, 684. 
Southey, reference to his ** Pilgrim of Compos- 

tella, ' 235. 
Spenser, quotations fVom, 398. 404. 408. 



Staal, Madame de, ber reason fcnr sopposing 

angels to be mascaline, 51. 
Stephen, St., Deacon and Frotomartjr, 531. 
Stirling, Mr., references to his ^Artists of 

Spain," 277. 489. 738. 
Sarins, his derivation of the name ** Ursnla," 

Sosanna, St., 641. 
Sjlvester, St!, Pope, 686. 

** Tantonj pig," origin of the proTerh, 751. 
Tasso, references to his ** Qemsalemme Libe- 

rata,"82. 107. 119. 
Tennyson, quotations from, 487. 596. 
Thais, St., 394. 

Thecia, St., Virgin and Martjr, 556. 
Theodore, St, 781. 
Theodosins, emperor, signal triumph of St. 

Ambrose orer, 30S. 
Thomas, St., 845—249. 
Tobit, the Book of, its interest in connection 

with the Archangel Baphael, 126. 
Torp6 (or Torpct), St., 651. 
Trajan, emperor, legend of him in connection 

with St. Gregory, 321. 
Trophime, St, 72a 
Tuscany, Lombardy, Spain, and France, 

Martyrs of, 648. 

Ulrich, St, bishop of Augsburg, 665. 

Urban, St, 684. 

Ursula, St, and her companions^ 501. 

Yalens, emperor, his Arian principles firmly 

opposed by St Basil, 836. 
Valerie (or Val^re), St, 719. 
Yasari, quotations from, 416. n^ 449. a., 

786. n. 
Yerdiana, St, 649. 
Yeronica, St, 646. 
Victor of Marseilles, St, 790. 
Victor of Milan, St, 791. 
Vincent, St, Deacon and Blartyr, 549. 
Virgin Patronesses, The, 465. 
Yitalis, St, 658. 
Vitus, St, 554. 
Viria Perpetua and Felicitaa, the subject of 

their martyrdom recommended to Protestant 

artists, 525. 564, 

Warrior Saints of Christendom, Tbe» 779 — 

Wordsworth, quotations from, 40. 396. 762. 

Zachariah the prophet, 756. «. 
Zeno, St, bishop of Verona, 706. 
Zenobio of Florence, St, 702. 
Zosimus, priest, in connection with St Mary of 
Egypt, 386. 





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